The time between the announcement of the divorce and the date it becomes final can vary widely among Colorado couples. Even when the parties are amicable and work out their own settlement, it could take at least 90 days before the court considers the divorce final.
During that time, you and the other parent could give your children time to adjust to the fact that the nature of what makes you a family will need to change. Many people immediately move out and begin having the children go back and forth between the parents’ homes, but there may be another, and possibly better, option.
Enter bird nesting
In bird nesting, the children remain in the marital home while you and the other parent move in and out. You may be able to see right away that the children enjoy certain advantages in this arrangement. They retain the structure and security of remaining in their home. They don’t have to pack and unpack their things; they can still be with their friends and remain in the neighborhood they know.
Of course, you and the other parent would have to lay down some ground rules when it comes to sharing the home, even if it is at separate times. Each of you will need to be respectful of each other. One parent should not leave dishes, an empty refrigerator or other messes for the other parent to clean up. If possible, you could live in separate rooms in the home in order to leave some items there to avoid too much packing and unpacking.
Whatever household arrangements you come to, they should allow each of you to be comfortable when you are there — and when you are not. You will also need to consider the expenses involved. Maintaining the family home and another residence may present some financial challenges for both of you. If you believe that you can maintain this arrangement at least temporarily, it may provide your children with a less stressful transition.
This arrangement isn’t for everyone
If you and the other parent are unable to maintain a friendly and amicable relationship, this may not be the appropriate custody arrangement for you. Many couples are not able to do this even temporarily. However, if you and the other parent are determined to make it work, you could sit down and negotiate an agreement that sets up the “house rules,” along with consequences for breaking the rules and a method of resolving any possible disputes that may arise.