Bird-Nesting: The Divorce Trend Flying Around

If keeping a child’s home life as in-tact as possible following a divorce is a priority, look no further than our next divorce trend, bird-nesting or nesting.

Families who opt for this route have the great benefit of their children staying in one place, likely what was the family home, and the parents stay in the home during their agreed parenting time. This set-up replaces the children going from one parent’s home to the other and often not feeling as though either parent’s house is their “home”.

Unlike our previous post about parents who still live or work together after a divorce, bird-nesting parents will not live together, but will have several new house rules, sleeping arrangements, financial decisions and more.

It’s not for everyone.  Although it helps with continuity for the kids, it can be very disruptive for the parents.   Some parents choose to temporarily nest until everyone in the family has had some time to adjust.

Here are some things to consider if nesting sounds like a good short-term or long-term option for your family:

  • Will you and your former spouse share the family home and the home where you each live while you aren’t at the family home? Or will you each have another place to live?
  • How will the bills of the family home be divided?
  • Families still need to figure out a parenting plan and agree on logistics such as who will be in the family home during holidays.
  • Who will claim the mortgage on taxes for deductions?
  • What happens if the parents start dating?
  • What if one parent decides this arrangement no longer works? Will you plan for an open-ended nesting arrangement or will it be temporary?

Several of our divorce mediation clients have chosen this route with varying degrees of success.  Some have even shared an apartment where the one who was not with the children would stay during the other’s parenting time.  Others have been able to purchase or rent two additional residences while still maintaining the family home.  And some have moved into guest houses on the same property!

Just some (bird) food for thought…..