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Understanding the Birdnesting Co-Parenting Arrangement

Child custody is one of the most debated topics among divorcing parents. When everyone has been living together as a family, it can be hard to split up time with the kids. Which parent has primary custody? Who gets the kids on the weekends?

There are many co-parenting arrangements to suit the needs of both parents. For example, one parent may have the kids on weekends and holidays, while the other parent has the kids the rest of the time. Perhaps one parent has the kids for three, four or five days, and then the other parent has the kids for the same amount of time. There are many variations that the parents could employ.

One unique idea is birdnesting. Birdnesting allows the kids to stay in the marital home. Unlike most other divorces, they do not have to move from house to house. Instead, the parents are the ones who do the moving. They rotate in and out of the home, like birds descending onto a nest and then leaving later. When one parent is in the marital home, the other parent is at their own residence. It could be a small home or apartment that both parents share, since they will never be in the same place together. It is possible that each parent could have their own separate home, but that is not common due to expenses.

Birdnesting eliminates the constant shuffle back and forth between multiple homes that children often face when their parents divorce. Children stay in one place and get to continue going to the same school and seeing their same friends. This minimizes the disruption, which can lead to increased levels of stress, anxiety and even depression. Life continues as normal, with the only difference being that they are parented by one parent at a time, instead of two. If the parents were known for fighting constantly, this may be a welcome relief for the children, who may have had to deal with constant tension in the household while their parents were married.

Will Birdnesting Work for Us?

Birdnesting is a great way to keep children stable after a divorce. However, it requires good communication on behalf of the parents. If the divorce was rather contentious, then they may not get along well enough for birdnesting to be the most effective. Also, the parents should live in close proximity in order for this to work. If one parent is down the street and the other is across the state, it may not be feasible.

Birdnesting is best done on a temporary basis. For example, if a child will graduate from high school within a year, then birdnesting may work well. When done on a long-term basis, it can lead to false hope for children. They may believe that their parents are getting back together, when nothing can be further from the truth.

Seek Help for Your Divorce

Divorces can be contentious, especially when children are involved. Both parents typically want to be involved in their children’s lives and coming to an agreement on child custody and timesharing matters can be challenging.

Birdnesting is just one option for co-parenting. The Dade City family attorneys at Madonna Law Group can help you understand all your options when it comes to child custody arrangements. Call (800) 557-0411 to schedule a consultation.



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