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Birdnesting as a child custody plan

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Family Law

If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to think outside of the box. For example, maybe you and your spouse are parents. You’re trying to figure out custody of your children. But it’s getting very complicated to figure out when they’re going to live with you and when they’re going to live with your ex. Plus, the children aren’t excited about the idea of having to move out of their current home or commute between their parents’ homes after the divorce.

If you’re in this position, one rather unorthodox idea may be birdnesting. This is a custody solution that is not ideal for every family, but that can provide some great benefits for those for whom it will work.

How to set up this arrangement

Birdnesting is fairly easy to set up. You still create a custody schedule. The difference is just that the parents won’t live in separate houses, with the children moving in accordance with the schedule. Instead, the children will live in the same house all the time. All the schedule tells you is when it’s your turn to live there with the children and when it is your spouse’s turn.

What are the benefits?

There are a lot of benefits, especially for the children. They spend less time traveling. They always get to have all of their clothes, toys and other possessions at their home. They get to live near their neighbors. They stay in the same school system. Children specifically may prefer this setup.

What are the drawbacks?

On the negative side, this can be hard for parents. As you can see, you’ll have to closely work with your ex to coordinate the schedule. You and your ex will also have to continue sharing spaces in the family home. You may have to figure out things like who is going to do the cleaning, who is going to pay the mortgage or who is going to make repairs around the house. You’re no longer married, but you still have to share your marital home in a lot of the same ways that you did when you were married. This can make it difficult if you and your ex are not necessarily on good terms or are prone to arguments.

However, if you are on amicable terms, birdnesting may be a solution that gets the results you and your family are after. It certainly shows you why it’s important to carefully consider all of your legal options and to seek legal guidance at this time.