Despite changing attitudes toward parenting, Louisiana’s courts still tend to favor mothers over fathers. For this reason, if you can negotiate a custody agreement with your children’s mother, you could end up having more time and interaction with your children than you would if you left it up to a judge.
Many parents decide not to let the courts decide the fate of their families anymore. Instead, they put aside their differences and work together in order to come to an arrangement that benefits everyone involved, especially the children. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to suggest a relatively new custody arrangement that some people still find a bit unorthodox, but it could work in your case.
The parents leave the nest, not the children
A type of custody arrangement called “bird nesting” allows the children to remain in the family home while the parents rotate in and out of it. The children don’t have to travel back and forth between homes; they can keep all of their stuff in one place, and their daily lives don’t experience the same disruptions as in other arrangements.
In addition, this could resolve the issue of who keeps the family home, at least in the short term. Granted, you and the other parent will need a place to live when not staying with the children, but the two of you could even share that abode if possible. This could provide a solution to one of the more challenging financial issues in your divorce.
This type of custody can also help everyone ease into a post-divorce life. With all of the ongoing and upcoming changes, having some stability and normalcy could help. Even if neither of you intends to maintain this arrangement over the long term, it does have its uses in the short term.
Some of the downsides
Bird nesting does have its drawbacks, of course. You and the other parent need to reach an understanding and some neutral ground in order for this to work. If you have any doubts, you may want to find another solution. You will need to discuss work schedules, household chores, grocery shopping and other routine and daily activities that need to occur in the home.
It is possible to overcome these issues, but only through negotiations and agreement. In fact, you may want to memorialize any agreements in writing. This gives each of you the peace of mind that you have something to refer back to if one of you fails to meet your agreed to obligations.