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How birdnesting custody arrangements can benefit children

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Child Custody & Visitation

Shared custody is the typical outcome of a divorce when there are minor children in a family. The family courts expect both parents to spend time with the children, agree on major decisions about their upbringing and help support them while they are minors.

The traditional approach to shared custody involves the children moving back and forth between the residences of the adults regularly. The parents establish their own households and have full responsibility for the children during their parenting time. However, some couples find unique solutions for their families during the divorce process. For example, birdnesting custody arrangements remain uncommon but can be useful in some scenarios.

What does birdnesting entail?

A birdnesting custody arrangement involves the children remaining in the family home. They don’t move, which minimizes the disruption in their lives. The parents are the ones who stay in more than one place. Instead of needing to pay for two houses or apartments that are large enough to properly accommodate a parent and all of the children in the family, the adults live marital home during their parenting time while establishing a place that they can stay when they do not have parenting time.

It can be much more cost-effective to take on a room in a shared living arrangement when compared with renting a space large enough to accommodate multiple children. A birdnesting approach also eliminates the cost of maintaining two sets of clothing and two sets of furniture for the children.

Additionally, the children get to stay in the community where they have connections and support. They can continue to attend the same school and enjoy the same friendships. So long as the parents can establish and respect boundaries about privacy, parenting and home maintenance, birdnesting can be a beneficial arrangement for those in more expensive school districts or with children who find change to be particularly disruptive.

A birdnesting arrangement often requires careful planning. Spouses need clear terms to make the arrangements work and plans for how to handle the home when the children finally reach adulthood. Those preparing for shared custody may benefit from carefully considering every option available to them. Birdnesting may be uncommon, but it can help parents in certain circumstances to meet the needs of their brood.