Birdnesting

Posted by & filed under Custody.

The term birdnesting refers to a custody arrangement in which the children remain in the home, and the parents alternate residence in the home with the children.  It requires each parent to have a home outside the children’s home (perhaps one alternately shared by the parents).  The birdnesting arrangement has been hailed by some as a wonderful way to put the children’s interests first, and for parents to demonstrate the ultimate in cooperation and collaborative co-parenting.  It is rare, however, for such an arrangement to succeed on a long term basis.

One challenge is financial: how can divorced parents co-reside in a home without co-owning the home? Which parent retains the equity in the house?  Do both parents contribute to the mortgage payment?  Who owns, and pays for, the other residence?

Further, if either parent remarries or relocates to another city, the arrangement ends, and it is necessary to devise a parenting plan that involves two different homes for the children. Even in the absence of a remarriage or relocation, the birdnesting arrangement constitutes more of a transitional experience for the parents than a new chapter in the parents’ lives.

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