What is birdnesting after a divorce?
When parents get divorced, they have to set up a custody schedule. In many cases, this means that both adults will split up parenting time with their children, as the child lives with each parent in turn. It’s very common for both parents to have their own homes and for the children to move between them in accordance with the schedule.
Birdnesting turns this obligation around. The children don’t have to move, but they always get to live in the same home. The parents will move in and out in accordance with the schedule, with one parent having custody while they live in the home and then switching places with the other parent as they trade off custody.
What are the benefits?
There are some benefits for children in this situation. They get more stability, they may feel like the divorce hasn’t changed their life as much and they get the security of really feeling like they know where they should feel “at home.” They are still close to their school, their friends and their neighborhood. They also don’t have to spend as much time in the car, being driven from one home to the other.
What are the drawbacks?
There are some potential downsides, however. Birdnesting can be quite expensive since parents have to pay for the home where the children live, along with their own homes. This setup also requires the parents to work together closely regarding things like paying the mortgage, paying utilities, doing maintenance and upkeep on the home, sharing weekly chores and much more.
Birdnesting is only one example of a potential child custody arrangement. Parents who are going through a divorce should carefully consider all the options they have.