Birdnesting Custody Divorce/Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels
What is Birdnesting?
In a divorce/separation with children, “birdnesting” refers to a living situation where the children reside in one home, and the parents take turns living in that home with them. Thus, rather than the children moving different houses, it’s the parents that are taking turns going back and forth.
Pros of Birdnesting
Stability for children. A lot of children don’t enjoy going back and forth. Keeping the children in the same home before and after separation can be beneficial to their adjustment of divorce. Status quo is a good thing.
In addition, having to move back and forth between homes can mean missed appointments, interrupted sleep, losing things. Some children adapt well to the new living arrangements. Others prefer to remain in one place.
Cons of Birdnesting
It’s expensive. Instead of having two homes, you effectively need to have three (3) homes: the children’s home, parent A’s home, and parent B’s home. Paying utilities and bills on three (3) different homes may not be financially feasible.
It’s confusing for the children. Children may not be able to “let go” of their parents not being married or together anymore.
It’s confusing for the parents. Separation usually means physical distance. Continuing to occupy the same space may muddle the finality of divorce.
Another issue to consider is new boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives. Are they ok with you living with your children when it’s your time. Will they be living with you when it’s your time? When blended families expand, birdnesting can pose challenges.
Birdnesting Custody Divorce
It is best to work with a family counselor to tailor your living arrangements. Every family is different and unique.
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