What is Birdsnesting in Family Law?

For most children with divorced parents, the children’s new “normal” is going back and forth from one parent’s house to the other parent’s house. A growing trend may change that, at least in the early days following a divorce. A birdsnesting or nesting arrangement is when the kids stay in the marital home and the parents rotate in and out based upon the placement schedule.

One of the primary concerns for divorcing parents is often the instability that multiple residences will create for their children. Birdsnesting is a solution that can often make the transition easier for the children. Many parents have been using a birdsnesting approach while the divorce process is ongoing and while they are determining their future living arrangements and what to do with the marital residence. It allows the children’s environmental surroundings to remain the same, even though other aspects of their familial life are rapidly changing.

There are some financial and other considerations when deciding whether a birdsnesting approach may work for your family. First, the parents would need to determine where they will reside when it’s not their placement time with the children. Some parents share a short-term rental, each residing there when it is not their turn in the marital residence. Others look to hotels or family members as a solution when they are away from the home. Second, parents need to discuss whether they will share all expenses related to the marital residence since both are still residing there half of the time. Third, parents should discuss how long they expect the birdsnesting arrangement to last so that everyone is on the same page. 

A birdsnesting arrangement isn’t for everyone, but it does offer a creative alternative to the traditional approach of shuffling the children back and forth. If you are going through (or contemplating) a divorce and want to discuss which living arrangement may work best for your family, please contact the experienced family law attorneys at Petit & Dommershausen today.