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What is birdnesting?

When children are involved in a divorce, their best interests usually come first-in both their parent's eyes and the court's eyes. One of the primary reasons that courts focus on the child's best interests is to preserve a sense of stability in the children's lives during this time of change.

"Birdnesting" has become an increasingly popular method for some parents to help maintain that stability themselves.

Birdnesting keeps children in the family home

The idea entered the public eye with the comedy TV show, Splitting up Together. Divorcing couples keep their family home where their children live. And then the spouses switch off living in the house with the children based on their parenting schedule, instead of the children switching between the parent's new living spaces.

This is certainly an experimental method, but some couples favor it because it maintains the children's environment that they are accustomed to, even while everything else is changing in their lives.

Does it really work?

In an NBC News article, many experts agree that birdnesting is often beneficial for children during divorce. However, it can also lead them to feel confused. When the family dynamic has changed so drastically, it can feel off-putting to live in the same house.

It can also create additional stress for the spouses who are navigating divorce and still essentially sharing a home with their ex-spouse. Even though birdnesting might ease the transition for their children, it might increase the challenges that parents face.

For birdnesting to work, parents must meet several factors

Birdnesting is not a solution for every family. It must match the family's situation. Couples who pursue birdnesting must likely:

  • Establish a joint custody agreement
  • Be on the best possible terms during and after divorce
  • Create a detailed parenting plan
  • Set boundaries and rules for the shared living space

Experts say temporary is best for birdnesting

Birdnesting is not meant to be a permanent arrangement after divorce. It is only a form of transition to allow the family to grow accustomed to the new life changes that divorce brings in a familiar environment.

It helps families find their new normal after divorce while reducing the stress this life change can cause.

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