Fans of Hollywood film actor Josh Lucas may have watched his guest spot earlier this year on the Today Show. Lucas spoke about bird nesting, an alternative living arrangement many people (no doubt including some in Washington) are incorporating into their divorce plans. Lucas said he and his former wife chose bird nesting for their 5-year old son. He also said his son loves the new plan, and he (Lucas) believes parents can keep the best interests of the child in mind as they move forward in life following divorce. 

Parents are wise to fully research any proposed plan before signing an agreement. Bird nesting involves children remaining in the family home that was shared during marriage. Parents take turns living with their kids while securing separate living quarters for the times when it is not their turn to reside in the family home. A potential downside to bird nesting is that additional residences may add to post-divorce expenses.  

Some parents say they simply stay at the homes of relatives or friends when it is not their turn to live with their kids. This helps them avoid having to purchase other homes or rent apartments. Many parents say bird nesting is beneficial for kids because it minimizes the abrupt changes divorce often causes in young lives and helps them maintain a sense of routine and normalcy as they adapt to new lifestyles.

No two Washington families are exactly the same. Bird nesting may not be the best option in all cases. The good news is that it need not be permanent. If parents try it and determine it is not in the best interests of the child to continue with the arrangement, they can ask the court to modify their existing court order by implementing a new plan. An experienced family law attorney is a great asset to have on hand when legal issues regarding bird nesting or other divorce-related matters arise.  

Source: CNBC, “This hot Hollywood divorce trend may not be for you“, Lorie Konish, Accessed on April 17, 2018