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Birdnesting after divorce — what does it entail?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Child Custody

Navigating divorce as a parent can be a complicated and painful experience, but some solutions can make the transition a bit easier for everyone in the family. Specifically, considering a birdnesting arrangement could help you create a healthy environment to cope with divorce and continue raising your children with ease.

What is birdnesting?

Birdnesting is often temporary but can be a long-term way for parents to take the inherent changes that come with divorce at a slower pace. It involves keeping the family home as a permanent place for kids to live full-time while parents stay in the family home to care for their children during their parenting time. Then, when it’s not a parent’s turn to physically care for their kids, they live in a separate residence. This separate living space could be within the home if it is large enough, with a friend or family member willing to offer support or in a new apartment or home of their own.

What are the benefits of birdnesting?

At its core, birdnesting provides consistency in a child’s life. Their routines may change based on the parent caring for them, but their environment, school, sleep schedule and so much more can remain intact. It can also take a load off of parents unfamiliar with custody exchanges as it eliminates the need to pack up their child’s belongings week-to-week and schedule a drop-off time that works for both parents.

What are the downsides of birdnesting?

While it may seem like a good option on paper, birdnesting could also present challenges. It can make starting fresh difficult if parents exist within the same walls they lived in during a failed marriage. Beginning to date again may be awkward while still sharing living quarters with an ex-partner. Maintaining two households can also be expensive, depending on an individual’s financial situation.

It’s best to amicably lay out all custody and care options with your co-parent and go from there. Guidance from a legal professional can also help you reach a solution that makes the most sense for you and your little ones.