If you have not heard of bird nesting, don't be shocked. It's not common and it's not easy. However, some parents find that it's much better for their kids after a divorce.
How it works is simple: The parents are the ones who rotate when they live in the home, but the kids always stay put. For instance, Mom could move in for the first week of the month, she could head to her apartment for Week Two, and Dad could take over. At the start of Week Three, they swap back.
The kids like the stability and get to stay in their own home, with their own rooms and their own toys. For parents, though, it can be tricky, and three main things are required:
1. The parents have to cooperate at all times. They have to be on good terms. They need to be able to see each other often and make decisions about the house—who pays for the broken garbage disposal, for example, or who picks out the new paint for the living room—like a married couple.
2. The parents have to have the money to do it. They'll end up paying for three places in most situations: The main home, an apartment for Dad, and an apartment for Mom. If one mortgage payment is tough, three payments could be impossible.
3. The parents must have a goal or a deadline. For example, this plan is often preferred when the kids will leave for college in a few years, as parents can stick it out until then. The deadline makes it easier and helps it make more sense.
If you're thinking of trying this in New Jersey, make sure you know what legal steps are required.
Source: Huffington Post, "Dismantling the Marriage But Not the House," Katie Hafner, accessed May 05, 2016