You’re getting divorced, and you are trying to figure out how to divide custody of your children. Should they live with you one week and then go to your ex’s house the next week? This does mean a lot of time in the car, a rather complicated living situation for the kids — who may not really feel “at home” in either location — and the need to buy two of a lot of things.

Shuttling the children back and forth between homes is very common, but there is one other option. It’s called bird-nesting.

To make this work, parents keep the home where the children already live. The kids stay there 100 percent of the time. Rather than moving them back and forth, the parents move in and out, taking turns. You may live in the home for a week, then you leave and your ex moves in for a week, and so forth.

There are huge advantages for the kids, who really have the same home all the time. This also means you do not have to sell your house during the divorce, simplifying the process. If you see your home as an investment, you don’t lose that. You cut back on travel time for the kids and the transitions are easy as long as both parents stick to the schedule.

Of course, there are downsides. You both need somewhere to live when you’re not in the children’s home. Does that mean renting two separate apartments? Do you want to rent one apartment and share that, as well? You and your ex will really need to be able to cooperate to pull this off.

As you can see, when looking into your child custody options, it’s important to think outside the box.

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