If you and your spouse are like many divorcing parents, you want to spare your children as much emotional pain as you can during your separation.
While not for everyone, “birdnesting” is a unique coparenting strategy that may help to provide your kids with a sense of stability while you transition to the next stage of your lives.
What is birdnesting?
During birdnesting, children remain in the family home while parents take turns staying at the house. Often nesting is a temporary arrangement that may last for a few months, for instance until the divorce is final or a parent finds a permanent separate home.
What are the advantages of nesting?
In addition to providing a sense of security for children, nesting may give you and your spouse needed time and space to adjust to big changes and make important decisions about the future. It may also give you and your future ex a chance to gradually get used to sharing a parenting schedule.
Is birdnesting right for you?
Successful birdnesting requires trust, respect and communication between you and your spouse. It is also important to work out a detailed plan beforehand. In addition to a schedule of on- and off-duty days, your plan might include agreements about paying bills, maintaining the home or even rules for handling new relationships.
If you are unsure whether birdnesting is right for your family, speaking with a mediator with experience in family law may help. In addition to facilitating communication and negotiation between you and your spouse, a mediator may be able to identify potential coparenting challenges and come up with creative solutions for success.