Divorce in North Carolina can be mentally and emotionally taxing, but for couples with children, the experience comes with a whole new set of challenges. Research has shown that children face a host of difficulties after divorce, especially when it comes to living arrangements. The need to share custody often leads to children spending time in separate residences week to week, and this can make children of divorced parents feel conflicted as to loyalties and security.

To combat these concerns, some divorced parents are opting to allow children to live full-time at one residence while sharing custody. This arrangement is often referred to as ‘birdnesting” and involves divorced individuals rotating living arrangements so that their children can stay in one residence. NBC News interviewed an attorney working with a matrimonial law firm who said that this arrangement may involve one parent living in an attached studio apartment at the children’s main residence.

The attorney goes on to state that birdnesting is usually only beneficial for short periods of time, often during a transitional period shortly before or after a divorce is finalized. The process allows both children and parents to ease into a new way of life and provides time to work out details regarding permanent living arrangements for all involved. The NBC News interview goes on to point out that a potential downside to birdnesting is that it may create a false sense of hope for parental reconciliation among the children, especially if the process goes on too long.

Due to the difficulties in a divorce that involves children, many people turn to the guidance of a family law attorney to work out child custody arrangements. A lawyer may be able to provide options to keep the family unit more cohesive while the divorcing spouses live separate lives. Additionally, a family law attorney can often assist with divorce matters that involve child support, spousal support and the equitable division of property.