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How nesting may work in some divorces

Some parents in Kentucky who are going through a divorce might want to look into a trend in child custody called bird nesting. This involves having the children stay put in one home while the parents take turns living there.

While this is not an approach that will work for all parents and children, it can offer a number of advantages including giving children time to adjust to the divorce. However, it is important for children to understand that the arrangement does not mean their parents will be getting back together.

Nesting works best with some ground rules in place including an agreement on how long the arrangement will last or what will happen if one parent decides it is no longer working. Often, parents continue the arrangement for the duration of a lease or while they wait for the value of their house to rise. Parents should also have their own space to go to when they are no longer in the home. One reason one couple's arrangement broke down after three months was because while the father returned to his parents' home, where he had space and privacy, when he was not with the children, the mother slept on her sister's couch. That couple also disagreed about housework in the shared home.

For other parents, nesting might not be an option because they cannot afford it or because there is too much conflict to make such an arrangement work. These parents can still work out a schedule for child custody that benefits the children. The most important elements for children are that they get to spend time with both parents regularly and that parents keep to their commitments. If one parent repeatedly violates the child custody agreement, it might be necessary to return to court and have it changed.

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