You and your spouse are divorcing. You’re trying hard to work out suitable arrangements for the children. One option you are entertaining is the so-called “bird’s nest” parenting. Will it work for your family?
It just might. Bird’s nest parenting is an outside-the-box option for custody that some co-parenting families swear by. Below is some information on just how it works.
The kids live in just one home
One of the most jarring aspects for children of divorce is getting used to rotating between both parent’s homes. Whether it’s three days with dad, then four with mom or every other week switching homes, it’s still an interruption of routine. Children crave continuity, so it can be upsetting to constantly feel as if they are transitioning.
Co-parents move in and out of the home
Ideally, this will be the family home. This means that each parent has to live elsewhere during this time, so bird’s nest parenting can get expensive if the co-parents are footing the bills for three homes.
Co-parents who get along well and respect each other’s boundaries might be able to share a rented two-bedroom apartment or home for the times when each is without the kids.
Whom it works best for
Parents of special needs children may be unable to duplicate the aids and assistive technologies their children need in two homes, so bird’s nest parenting could solve that dilemma. Also, parents of children on the spectrum may find that the fewer changes the kids face, the better.
When it might not work out
If either parent moves on to another relationship, it can be problematic. Does the new partner share the family home as well? Everyone’s comfort level has to be on the same page for it to work.
Also, this is not an option for ex-spouses who have ever been in domestic disputes where coercion or violence ever was a factor. One spouse could wind up browbeaten in this arrangement.
Ask your attorney
To determine whether this co-parenting option might work for you, discuss its ramifications with your family law attorney. When working toward a functional co-parenting agreement, it helps to have experienced guidance.