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Is bird's nest a custody plan soup you want to get into?

Mom and dad can't stay under the same roof together. Divorce seems the proper solution, but the children shouldn't suffer as a result. How should child custody work?

In our previous post we observed that there is no single best plan for any given family in Louisiana. Situations vary due to all sorts of factors. Children have different needs according to their ages and particular stages of development.

In the end, the best interests of the children tend to trump all else. What that means for parents is that it becomes necessary to work with experts who can help frame a plan that best covers all possible bases. At the same time, the plan won't remain static and the need for change means flexibility remains crucial.

There are many models of child custody. One that has started to get some attention in recent years is one called Bird's Nest custody.

On its face it seems to be something of a no-brainer. Based on the idea that children do best in a stable home environment, the concept of this custody arrangement has the children remaining in the family home while the parents do all the moving around.

One parent is the at-home parent for a stretch of visitation time. As the second parent moves in for his or her stretch, the first parent moves out.

The advantages to the children would seem to be clear. They stay in one home, in their respective schools and build steady friendships in their neighborhood. The divorce effects seem to be minimal.

The disadvantages fall on the parents. For example, it can be expensive to maintain the model. Instead of two divorcee homes, there may have to be three -- the main residence for the children, and one each for the parents. It also requires a special dedication from both adults.

What this all suggests is that to work, bird nester parents need sufficient funds and the ability to collaborate despite their personal differences. Those can be tough elements to combine without working with a team that includes a team of professionals, including a qualified attorney.

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