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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
Separation or divorce is always an incredibly emotional and stressful time for anyone involved, especially for children. Parents are always advised to communicate effectively with one another for the benefit of the children but a number of separating couples have taken this approach one step further.
The concept of ‘Bird’s Nest Custody’ is centred around ensuring that children experience as little change as possible during separation. A recent article from the Telegraph perfectly explains the process.
What is it?
A Bird’s Nest custody arrangement allows the child (or children) to remain in a property they are familiar with (home) whilst the parents move in and out around them. It ensures that the children remain in a familiar environment with all the home comforts they are used to, whilst also being able to have regular and consistent contact with mum and dad. Mum or dad will remain in the family home whilst the other parent ‘moves out’ into their own property. At regular scheduled intervals, the parents could either swap between two homes, or one would live mainly in the family home with the children and simply stay with friends or family while their ex moves in.
It may sound like a bizarre and complicated way for two adults to live but the primary focus is on ensuring the children are secure and comfortable in their surroundings at all times. It limits the impact that separation will undoubtedly have on children but may also provide a cheaper alternative to having two houses with several bedrooms and two sets of furniture, toys etc.
How can I get one!?
First and foremost, it is essential that both parents are able to communicate effectively with one another. The Bird’s Nest arrangement requires an enormous amount of trust between parents and is not a realistic or practical arrangement for the majority of separating parents.
If both parents are able to communicate effectively and are agreeable to a Bird’s Nest custody arrangement, the next question to ask is whether it is appropriate to formalise the arrangement into a Court Order. This Order will record exactly what the agreement is and offers both parents and children the security that the arrangements cannot then be substantially altered or changed without prior agreement.
If you are looking to achieve a Bird’s Nest Custody Arrangement/Court Order or simply want some advice on the other types of orders available please contact one of our family law experts on 01295 270999 (Banbury Office) 01869 252 161 (Bicester Office) 01788 579 579 (Rugby Office).