When it comes to child custody after a divorce, there are various options. Children are often the ones to be shuffled from one home to another, but there is an option that provides more stability. It is called birdnesting, or simply nesting.
Nesting is the opposite of the traditional custody arrangement, in which the kids go back and forth between each parent’s homes. Instead, the kids stay in the marital home, while the parents are the ones who come in and out. One parent stays in the home with the children, while the other parent goes elsewhere. The parents may have a place that they share, or they may each have their own residence. Some parents sleep in a hotel or an Airbnb. They may stay with friends and family while they are “off duty” from parenting.
This type of arrangement can be nice for children since they get stability. They do not have to move anywhere; their parents are the ones doing all the work. But is birdnesting effective in the long run? Here is what you need to know.
It is Good for the Children
Birdnesting can provide a solid structure for your family. It gives your children consistency and stability since they do not have to pack and move between homes. They can keep their friends, and they do not have to switch schools or move. The kids adjust to having one parent at a time, which results in less anxiety and stress.
Is it Good for the Parents?
If you are nesting while separated (but not divorced), birdnesting gives you time to clear your head. You can parent solo without the involvement of the other parent. If you are divorced, though, it can get a little tricky because you do have to communicate with the other parent to some degree.
But You Need a Plan
It is critical that you have a plan in writing, as birdnesting involves many elements. For example, how will expenses be managed? Where will the parents live? What schedule will be in place? How will you communicate with each other? How will you handle disagreements and emergencies? What about dating and new relationships? All these elements should be outlined in a parenting plan.
How Long Should Birdnesting Last?
The question is: how long should this arrangement last? Many experts agree that birdnesting should be used as a temporary measure only. It is best used as a short-term solution — 18 months at the most. It is not sustainable for the parents, and at some point, your child will need to adjust to going from one parent’s house to another.
Contact Us Today
Nesting can be a good option temporarily, but after some point, everyone involved needs to move on. It is not a viable option until the kids are fully grown due to various logistical issues.
Have questions or concerns about child custody and living arrangements? Seek legal help from The Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins. We represent mothers and fathers throughout Michigan. To schedule a consultation with our office, call (248) 646-7980 or fill out the online form.