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Bird Nesting No Easy Answer for Divorcing Couples in NJ

CNBC recently took a look at so-called bird nesting, whereby a divorcing couple alternate residing in the marital home with the children.

Family law attorneys in East Brunswick have seen this fad grow in popularity in recent years. Couples should be aware of the complications inherent in such arrangements, as it often makes it more difficult to separate yourself financially from a former partner.

The idea of “nesting” is getting new life thanks to a new television comedy, “Splitting Up Together,” starring Jenna Fischer of “The Office.”

Sharing the Marital Home After Divorce

Sparing children some of the upheaval of a divorce is often the biggest benefit of such arrangements. Parents may also benefit financially if a home is underwater or they need to satisfy the terms of a lease.

However, keeping the marital home often ties up a significant asset, the proceeds of which may be best utilized as each spouse begins a new life. Keeping the home may also mean you will remain in bed financially with your former spouse for years to come.

We have even seen such arrangements be further complicated when a couple rents an apartment or buys a second home and both live there when not residing with the children at the marital residence.

The alternative is for couples to maintain the marital residence and two separate residences, which typically creates needless financial burdens.

Protecting your Financial Future in New Jersey Divorce

Usually it is best to make a clean break financially. This means either eliminating or refinancing any joint debt and satisfying any tax consequences before a divorce is finalized.

Just because your divorce agreement says your former spouse is responsible for certain debts, does not mean the banks will not hold you equally responsible if the debt remains in your name.

Unless you want to be financially beholden to the financial decisions of a former spouse for years or decades to come, legally separating your finances is among the most important obligations of your chosen New Jersey divorce lawyer.

Minimizing the consequences of a divorce on children is important, of course, and an obligation we take seriously.

However, most couples that attempt such home-sharing arrangements do so because they believe it will also save money. Often, they find it is more expensive.

Additionally, splitting spouses often find it harder to move on to a new life while living in such arrangements in the former marital home. And many of the same stressors that plagued the marriage (housework, finances, child-rearing), are still present when divorcing spouses attempt such arrangements.

These types of living arrangements can and do work in certain situations. But, if anything, we have found it is even more important to establish clear ground rules, custody arrangements and separate finances.

Ambiguity has no place in a successful divorce agreement, let alone in your future living arrangements.

Contact the Somerset County divorce attorneys at Rozin-Golinder Law LLC to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call (732) 810-0034.

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