Bird nesting is a comparatively new way to co-parent children during a separation or divorce. With this type of arrangement, the kids continue to live in the family home while each parent rotates into and out of it when parenting time begins and ends.
According to reporting from NBC News, bird nesting provides stability for kids, which can be valuable in helping them cope with the emotional fallout from a divorce. Still, bird nesting may only be possible if the answers to each of the following questions are yes.
Do you have a family residence?
For bird nesting to work, you must have a family residence where the kids can live. Usually, this is the home where the children resided during your marriage. If you have already sold the property, however, your kids may have to shuffle between your new household and your ex’s as part of a traditional co-parenting arrangement.
Can you afford to maintain three houses?
When it is not your parenting time, you must live elsewhere. Your ex-spouse must do the same. If you and your former husband or wife are not in the financial position to pay for three separate homes, bird nesting may not be right for you. On the other hand, you may be able to stay with relatives or friends when you are not with your kids. This may save you some money.
Are you able to develop an acceptable agreement?
Occasionally living in the house you used to share with your spouse may be awkward. Still, to make your bird nesting arrangement successful, you must be able to negotiate and draft an acceptable agreement. This legally binding contract, which supplements your parenting plan, covers each parent’s rights and obligations to the family residence.
Bird nesting does not have to last forever, so you may be able to employ it until your kids adjust to your divorce. Ultimately, though, deciding to enter into a bird nesting arrangement is not something you should take lightly, as it requires considerable thought, planning and compromise.