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?