Single Parents

First post - Bird's nest custody arrangment?

Hello everyone. I guess I'm just going to jump right in. I've been with my STBXH for a little over ten years, married 8.5. It's never been an easy marriage, and we've finally reached the point where we are going to divorce. We are getting along fine, there's just no trust - he has cheated on me before (he was drunk, confessed, remorseful), but still has poor boundaries with other women and I can't deal with that, and he can't deal with my "insecurity."

Our daughter is 2, she'll be 3 in October. He wants 50/50 custody. I can handle the thought of divorcing, but being away from her half the time might kill me. He's a good dad though, a very good dad.

We're talking about doing a bird's nest custody arrangement, and we want to put in a clause that says the "off" parent can come over to the "nest" until a set time in the evening to visit. That way we'd both get more time with her, and I think we can get along well enough to keep the peace. We feel like it would be good for her to have a "home base" while she's still so little, and put the burden of shuffling back and forth on us (we'd maintain her residence, which would either be our current house (probably not as it would be too expensive), a smaller house or condo, or a 3 BR apartment, in addition to a 2BR apartment for the "off" parent, in which we'd each have our own bedroom/space).

Does anyone here do anything similar to this? My friends think I'm absolutely insane for even considering this arrangement. I don't doubt that my STBXH and I could get along, but I worry that we might actually be making things more confusing for her in the long run . . . don't know if I make sense at all. This is so hard.

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Re: First post - Bird's nest custody arrangment?

  • sgrl-did I see you post about this on SI?? If not, then check out the divorce/separation board on as someone just posted about a similar situation and there were a lot of really good insightful responses. Also, if that's you then I'll send you a PM over there so you know who I am.
  • sgrlsgrl member

    LMAO! Yes, that's me. I'm posting about this all over the internet, trying to see if somebody somewhere has actually successfully done this! If you don't mind to PM me over there, that would be great. My username there ends with the letter N, just so you can know you're looking at the right post.


    Thank you.

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  • We are doing a version of this, and have been for the past 4 months. I moved into my parents house and he stays at the family-home with the children(because he could afford the rent without me). The kids stay the night at my parents with me on Friday nights. Saturday nights, I sleep at my ex's. I feel they are too young to spend the night away from their home more than once a week but it's a constant battle with my ex about this arrangement. He's such an a-hole about it because it's "his house" and he's "letting me" stay there. That's really our only issue with the arrangement.


    He has them Sunday-Thursday nights(All day and night Monday/Tuesday), I have them Friday/Saturday/Sunday until he's off work. I also take care of them Wed/Thurs during the day while he's at work. Our arrangement works because neither of us pays the other child support and we both have equal time with them. This will probably change soon, though. He's crying about not getting enough free time and the only thing I have to counter with is that I don't work Wed/Thurs so that he can and if he's going to be an ass, he needs to find a sitter for those days. It's a bigggggg ol mess:( 


    Hopefully you and your ex can be mature and civil about it. My ex and I apparently can't! 

    Evelyn-Mommy to Ben 9.20.05 and Emily 5.14.07 and Callie 7.10.09! Lilypie Kids Birthday tickersLilypie Fifth Birthday tickers Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • sgrlsgrl member

    Thank you so much for your reply, purrrfect! I'm sorry he's being such an ass about it. I hope you guys are able to work something out, and he realizes that he should CHERISH the time he has with his kids!

    We had kind of dropped the idea thinking it was going to be too hard, but he's going to be staying in the house until it sells, while I get an apartment. We just talked today about filing a parenting plan that just spells out the 2-2-3 plan we agreed to, and doing the nesting thing unofficially until the D is final. We're getting along great now, but I know that that can unfortunately change at any moment. If we start off doing nesting and it's just not working, we can always just revert back to what's in the agreement, and she'll stay with me in my apt. when it's my time and at the house with him when it's his time.

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  • Your STBX sounds a lot like mine.  He told me he couldn't be himself with me around.  And apparently being himself included flirting with every woman in sight.  So glad to be away from that.

    I think that is great that you are going to try that out.  In my situation that never would have worked bcuz I loved my ex so much I couldn't bear to watch him walk out the door every night.  I never really understood how that would work because eventually you will want to date again and if he's anything like my ex he will be dating the minute you split.  In that case it seems like it would get very complicated.

    To me I think another option would be for you guys to live very close by eachother and each have a room for your daughter. 

    Honestly once the family splits up I don't think there is any easy solution.  I think no matter what it will be hard on the kids.  Good Luck!

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