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Birdnesting: An alternative child custody arrangement

Parents in Illinois often spend a great deal of time considering what is in the best interests of their children. Often they must balance what is best for their children with maintaining their overall mental and physical well-being. While many parents may be tempted to stay together for their children, some ultimately come to the decision that children are better with two happy parents living separate lives than two unhappy parents living together. As such, they are left to explore child custody arrangements that could ease their children into their new normal.

One such arrangement that many parents turn to is something called "nesting," or "birdnesting." In this arrangement, the children remain in the family home with one parent living with them at a time. Often, the parents will maintain an apartment that they share but stay in separately when not with the children. Benefits of this arrangement include that children can stay in their school with their friends and do not have to move back and forth between two different homes. Additionally, it gives the children a chance to have a smoother transition after receiving life-changing news.

However, proponents of this arrangement claim that it is only for those parents who are committed to an amicable split. Additionally, it is a short term arrangement, best if kept under six months. Despite the benefits of nesting, a prolonged arrangement may give children the false belief that their parents may ultimately reconcile.

Once the decision to divorce has been made, parents will have many other decisions to make. While parents in Illinois may have different ideas regarding the best interests of their children, many are able to come to an amicable child custody agreement, reducing the amount of conflict to which the children are exposed, helping to ease them into the new arrangements. Regardless of whether proceedings are amicable or contentious, an experienced attorney can help a parent understand th available options and the ramifications of each.

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