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Pros and cons of a bird nest child custody plan

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Family Law

Several celebrities coined a new term that immediately went viral regarding post-divorce parenting. Rather than saying they were getting divorced, they told reporters they were “uncoupling.” They wanted to minimize stress for the whole family regarding child custody issues. Some of them chose to keep living in the same home together. The idea isn’t new, although it has become a more popular option in recent years since celebrity parents have brought it back into the limelight. This type of custody agreement is known as “bird nest” custody.

If you want to determine if a bird nest child custody plan is a good fit for your family, you’ll want to ask yourself several questions. Do you and your ex get along well enough to be able to work as a team? Are you emotionally prepared to make new memories as a single parent in the home you shared with your ex during marriage? Can the two of you resolve differences without confrontation? If your answer to these questions is “Yes,” then bird nesting might work in your favor.

Benefits of a bird nest child custody arrangement

There are several reasons why a bird nest child custody plan can be beneficial for your family, including:

  • It minimizes disruption in your children’s lives after divorce because they don’t have to move to a new home or go to a new school.
  • Children do not have to travel back and forth between two households because parents take turns living with them in the family home.
  • You won’t have to put your house up for sale.
  • It creates a continued sense of normalcy and routine in children’s daily lives.

In a bird nest arrangement, your kids keep living in the family home you shared during marriage. You and your ex create a rotating schedule and take turns living with the kids.

Potential downsides of bird nesting

There are usually pros and cons to most child custody arrangements, and bird nesting is no different. Some of the potential downsides are as follows:

  • You must find somewhere to live when it’s not your turn to live with your kids.
  • If you develop a new romantic relationship (or your ex does), it can be awkward bringing them into the home you shared with your ex during marriage.
  • Bird nesting sometimes causes children to develop false hope that their parents might reunite.

As for a secondary residence, you can minimize expenses by sharing the cost of a studio apartment with your ex. You will take turns living in it just as you take turns living with your children. If that idea does not appeal to you, you might rent a room in a relative’s or friend’s home or find some other low-cost option.

Some parents skip the secondary residence

You can also implement a bird nest child custody plan by having everyone under the same roof all the time. You and your ex would simply have separate bedrooms in the home. Most people would rather take turns living with their children because sharing a home with the person you divorced can be too intimate and uncomfortable. It’s a good idea to have someone with experience in child custody matters assist you in crafting a bird nest plan.