Bird-nesting: Can this trend be the new co-parenting for your family?
Bird-nesting is the new co-parenting which means the child alternates between each parent’s home on a set schedule. This can disrupt the child’s routine and make it hard for him or her to adapt to life after the divorce and continue doing well in school. Realizing this, some parents have adopted a new way of co-parenting: bird-nesting. With a bird-nesting agreement, it is the parents, not the child, who alternate between households.
Here is how bird-nesting works: the couple retains ownership of their marital home, potentially as co-owners or with an arrangement that involves one parent buying out the other’s share of the home’s value or an agreement that they will sell the home and split the profit after the child moves out as an adult. The child remains living in the marital home while his or her parenting plan dictates when each parent lives in the home with him or her. During a parent’s “off” time, he or she might live in a rented apartment, a separate home, or with family or friends – this is for the divorced couple to determine. In some cases, the couple also shares this “off time” lodging, alternating between this home and the marital home according to their parenting plan.
The Advantages of Bird-nesting For You and Your family
Couples who choose bird-nesting arrangements choose them because they offer the following benefits:
- Less disruption to the child’s established routine;
- No hassle of having to sell the home;
- No need for the child to relocate;
- When the parents’ alternate home is a small apartment or staying with extended family, bird-nesting can save them money; and
- There is no need to schedule pickups, drop offs, or build travel time into the parenting plan
Drawbacks of a Bird-nesting Arrangement
Bird-nesting can also have so disadvantages. It is not the right choice for every couple, and in some cases, the features of bird-nesting that are benefits for some families are drawbacks for others. Potential disadvantages you can face with a bird-nesting arrangement include:
- Greater levels of conflict with your former spouse. Because you are still sharing a home, despite not living in it together, you will need to communicate more and inevitably, you will see each other more. You will also be far more exposed to each other’s parenting and interaction with your child;
- If you both buy or rent individual homes, you will face costs associated with your purchases and/or rentals in addition to remaining responsible for your marital home’s mortgage, utilities, and property taxes; and
- It can be more difficult to move past your divorce and date again when you have the high level of contact with your former spouse that comes with a bird-nesting arrangement.
Work with an Experienced Winter Park Divorce Lawyer
Depending on your family dynamics and your relationship with your former spouse, bird-nesting might be a viable co-parenting option for you and your former spouse. To learn more about bird-nesting and other parenting plan options, contact our team of experienced Winter Park divorce lawyers at Sperling Ducker PLC today to set up your initial consultation with us.