When Florida parents consider divorce, they may be concerned about how the end of their marriage will affect their children. Joint or shared custody is an increasingly popular solution for families and within the legal system. In most cases, children travel between their parents’ homes on a regular basis, and their parents share responsibility for and time with the children. However, the transitional period immediately after the divorce can be a harsh adjustment, especially if a move for both parents could mean changing schools in the middle of the year.

As a result, many parents are looking for solutions that can help them ease the emotional and practical effects of divorce on the children. Some are opting for “birdnesting” as a form of joint custody that aims to disrupt the children’s lives as little as possible. In this scenario, the kids remain in the family house while the exes move in and out, one week at a time. In general, the parents rotate in and out of a small apartment. This arrangement requires a great deal of communication, interaction and shared space, so it’s best suited for people who are divorcing amicably.

In addition, the level of shared space means that it’s difficult for parents to move on or date, even in their time off from custody. It can also be somewhat confusing to the children, who may believe that their parents will reconcile. Most experts advise that birdnesting is best as a short-term option kept up for no more than three to six months.

Parents going through a divorce may be confused about the various options for child custody and visitation. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to negotiate a parenting plan and reach an agreement that can help facilitate successful co-parenting for the years to come.