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Birdnesting Co-Parenting: What is it, and Is it Right for Me?

Birdnesting Co-Parenting: What is it, and Is it Right for Me?

Divorce can be difficult, especially if you have children. Deciding what type of co-parenting arrangement works best for you and your children can be challenging, especially when your kids are young and you’ll be co-parenting for years to come.

Birdnesting is one type of parenting arrangement, but is it right for you? Consider what it entails and the various pros and cons.

What is “Birdnesting”?

Birdnesting, also called nesting or bird’s nest custody, is a type of child custody arrangement that allows the children to stay in the family home while parents alternate moving in and out. This type of co-parenting arrangement isn’t necessarily a new trend but isn’t as common as other types of custody arrangements.

Co-parenting by birdnesting often starts during divorce cases while parents figure out what’s best for them and their kids. Parents take turns staying in the marital home with the children, and when it’s the other parent’s turn, they stay at a separate home or with relatives.

If, during a trial period, parents feel nesting works best for their kids, it could become a permanent custody arrangement. While not for everyone, it’s a situation that works well for many families, especially those with small kids.

Benefits of Birdnesting for Children

There are several advantages to nesting, specifically for the children.

First and foremost, nesting provides much-needed stability for kids during what is usually a turbulent time. Parents divorcing usually means discomfort and change for children, and many kids don’t do well with it. While some level of disruption is unavoidable during divorce, at least children can remain in the home they know and feel comfortable in.

Along the same lines, when children stay in their homes, they don’t need to get accustomed to a new routine. Divorce usually means moving and having to go back and forth between parents’ homes. This could also involve switching schools, making new friends, and changing extracurricular activities.

Concerning parenting, nesting can help create a more even distribution of childcare. Parents typically stay with kids an equal amount of time, for example, a whole week or two at a time, which can assist with ensuring each parent carries their parenting weight.

Disadvantages of Birdnesting After Divorce

While birdnesting can greatly benefit your kids, it can have several disadvantages for parents.

One of the biggest cons of nesting is the significant financial commitment. When parents co-parent by birdnesting, they’re responsible for maintaining two homes. Unless a parent stays with family or friends on their “off” time, they have their own homes. Maintaining the family home and a separate home can create financial hardships.

During a divorce, nesting can be hard on a parent’s emotions. Having to live in the home you shared with your family and seeing your ex’s belongings can be particularly devastating and prevent you from moving on.

Once you do move on, birdnesting could create burdens on a new relationship. You won’t be as available to your new partner when it’s your turn with the kids, especially if you don’t feel comfortable bringing them into your family’s home. Not having your own space a fraction of the time could interfere with your personal life.

Discuss Birdnesting and Alternative Options with a Family Law Attorney

Birdnesting could work well for you and your children, depending on the circumstances. Do not hesitate to discuss co-parenting options with your family law attorney to receive personalized advice. Contact Selleck Legal, PLLC, today to schedule a consultation.


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