On a Wednesday morning, Wendy Paris pads down the hallway to find her son happily eating breakfast with his father. It’s a picture-perfect moment — except for the fact that Paris and her husband have been divorced for more than three years.
Welcome to the new divorce, where exes are more likely to see each other across the breakfast table than across a courtroom. And the most extreme example? “Birdnesting,” where the kids stay in one home while mom and dad rotate out every couple of days.
Recently, “Mad Men” actress Anne Dudek announced plans to forge a similar setup with her ex, Matthew Heller. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have a variation, where Paltrow frequently crashes at their former pad. And Manhattan lawyers say that more and more couples are inquiring about the concept.
Paris, 40, a former Hoboken, NJ, resident who recently moved to Santa Monica, Calif., stayed in the family brownstone while her ex rented a studio. The pair committed to meals under one roof, and their 8-year-old son always spent the night in the brownstone. “I didn’t want to make him feel uprooted,” explains Paris, the author of “Splitopia,” a how-to guide to a good divorce. “We were still a family, just not a married family.”
John, a 38-year-old private school teacher on the Upper West Side who requested his last name not be used for professional reasons, “birdnested” with his ex for nearly a year so they didn’t have to rush the sale of the two-bedroom apartment they shared with their 3-year-old son.