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Could Bird Nesting be an Option for Your Family?

If you are a parent considering filing for divorce, you might be dreading having to share parenting time with your former spouse and how it will affect your relationships with your children. Although the traditional arrangement is that the children are brought to each parent’s residence when for that parent’s allocated time with the children, this is not the only option. Many American families are embracing new post-divorce parenting time arrangements, such as bird nesting.

Bird nesting is an arrangement that has a couple’s children remain in one household and the parents rotate in and out for their parenting time. When it is not a parent’s time to be in the home with the children, he or she might stay in a rented apartment or another home. This arrangement has its benefits as well as its drawbacks and it is not realistic for all families. Talk to your lawyer about potential arrangements to try and do not feel discouraged if an attempted parenting time arrangement does not work. Learning how to parent post-divorce can be complicated.

Benefits of Bird Nesting

Bird nesting is focused completely on the children’s needs. It eliminates their need to move into a new home and potentially adjust to a new neighborhood and a new school. It also eliminates the disruption of physically moving houses.

Bird nesting can also foster stronger relationships between the parents, making it easier for them to co-parent. It can make it easier for parents to be flexible with their parenting arrangements as well. For example, if one parent has to travel for a week for work, the other can easily come to the home to spend it with the children, rather than requiring the traveling parent to hire a sitter or the parents to change their schedules around.

Drawbacks of Bird Nesting

Bird nesting, though it has its advantages, is not perfect. There are multiple drawbacks that can occur with this arrangement, such as:

  • The cost. Maintaining a household for each parent and one for the children can be quite expensive;
  • Bird nesting can become complicated, even impractical, as new partners and new children enter the picture; and
  • A successful bird nesting arrangement requires the parents to be fairly amicable with each other. If the parents have conflicts they cannot overcome that spill into their ability to co-parent, bird nesting might not be the right choice.

Work with an Experienced La Crosse Family Lawyer

What works for one family will not necessarily work for another. If you are a parent considering filing for divorce, speak with an experienced La Crosse family lawyer about what you can expect from the divorce process and in the months afterward. A divorce is a big adjustment for any family, and you can reduce the impact yours has on your child by working with the right family lawyer. Contact our team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today to set up your initial consultation in our office.

Published December 3, 2016
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