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Bird nesting: A creative divorce option for California parents

Many California couples encounter challenges when they end their marriages. Especially for those who are parents, matters involving family life, finances or even the house shared during marriage often crop up and necessitate negotiation before amicable settlements can be achieved. Bird nesting seems to be the answer for some, especially those who want to  avoid a home sale following divorce.

This alternate parenting plan works by letting children live in the home they shared during their parents' marriage while parents develop a rotating schedule to take turns living with their kids. In their off-times, parents need to find someplace else to live, which is a potential downside for some people. Many Hollywood stars, including film actor Josh Lucas, say they have implemented bird nesting plans in their own lives.  

Lucas, in fact, spoke about his circumstances on the Today Show. He said his 5-year old son loves their parenting situation. He also said bird nesting helps parents show children they have their best interests in mind even though their marriages didn't work out.  

As with most post-divorce parenting arrangements, there are pros and cons associated with the bird nesting process. Those in California seeking  a more permanent feeling of separation may want to avoid this option. Since it involves living in the house that was shared during marriage, there may be a lot of emotional attachment that can complicate the process of finding closure and moving on in life. Many parents who have chosen this type of family arrangement say it's critical that parents make sure their children understand bird nesting does not necessarily mean they plan to reunite at some point. Such arrangements may also have legal implications regarding finances, taxes or other issues for which experience guidance may be sought before signing a final agreement. 

Source: CNBC, "This hot Hollywood divorce trend may not be for you", Lorie Konish, April 16, 2018

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