When co-parenting is the best path

When people fall in love, they often pursue dreams that will take them down a path of shared goals and projected outcomes. Sadly, life does not always provide the needed support or the means for realizing these dreams, and as time goes on, couples may begin to follow other paths or change priorities that eventually make separation or divorce inevitable.

Where there is love and a shared emphasis on the needs of the children, one option for divorcing parents in Indiana and elsewhere is bird nesting. Although not appropriate in all situations, Noblesville couples who are seeking creative co-parenting options and an amicable path forward can find positive solutions that protect the needs of the children as well as the rights of the parents.

Bird nesting

 In this unusual arrangement, the family home becomes the “nest” where the children remain while the parents take turns living with them. Although setting up multiple households can be challenging, many parents who are able to get along will share a parental living space that they can trade off when not in the home. There are many psychological and practical advantages to nesting, such as:

  • supporting the child’s continued bond with both parents
  • providing support and minimizing stress to the children
  • allowing the parents to adjust to single life

There are practical considerations as well. Parents who cannot afford a divorce or to set up two households, or who need time to consider the financial implications of divorce, such as selling the family home and dividing assets or debt, can use this time to consider options that may take them further along the path of reconciliation or divorce.

Advantages and challenges to bird nesting

 Nesting is often a short-term arrangement, but some parents decide to continue it until the children are grown. Much of its effectiveness depends on the parents’ willingness to develop a nesting plan and to maintain good communication while managing potential conflicts that will inevitably arise. Parents should cultivate qualities that will support this parenting plan, such as:

  • mutual respect
  • the capacity to make and keep an agreement
  • good communication skills
  • trust

In the absence of trust or where there are broken agreements, however, it will be difficult to move forward with this arrangement. And where there is a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, or untreated mental illness, it is not wise to pursue this co-parenting option.