Is A Bird Nesting Divorce Right For You?

Parents who choose divorce mediation over litigation often do so out of compassion for their children. They have co-parenting in mind and want a solution that is best for the kids. That can lead them to the idea of a bird nesting divorce — and an “anchor home”. So, is a bird nesting divorce right for you? Let’s dig into a bit.

What Is Bird Nest Parenting For Divorce?

Bird nesting parenting for divorce is an arrangement where the children remain in the family home and the parents alternate periods of residence there. This allows the children to have a consistent routine and environment as they don’t transition between their parents during a divorce; instead the parents transition. It provides an “anchor home” where each parent spends part of their time during their time with the kids.. Bird nesting parenting is a unique way of addressing the needs of children during divorce, as it allows them to maintain familiar surroundings and minimizes disruption. It also creates an environment where both parents have equal access to their children while still allowing them some space and time apart. This arrangement can be beneficial for families going through divorce mediation.

Advantages Of A Bird Nesting Divorce

There are several advantages for a family going through divorce mediation to consider the bird nesting approach, including the following:

  1. Bird nesting allows the children to remain in a secure and familiar environment, or an “anchor home”, while both parents continue to have physical custody of the children on alternating schedules.
  2. This type of divorce arrangement can help reduce stress on the family and minimize disruption for the children as it provides them with a sense of stability and security.
  3. With bird nesting, parents can maintain their own separate households and alternate residing in the anchor home without the need to relocate or uproot their children. 
  4. Bird nesting also provides an opportunity for more open communication between both parents who must collaborate on childrearing decisions while living separately. 
  5. Bird nesting divorces can also reduce conflict as both parents tend to take a more mindful approach in co-parenting when they are aware that the children will be returning to the anchor home. 

What Is The Downside Of Nesting?

Many couples come to divorce mediation already with the idea of trying bird nesting parenting arrangements.  However, in being open and transparent about the pros and cons of different parenting options, we disclose and explore the challenges in a bird nesting plan.

  1. It can be expensive:  The most obvious downside is cost.  If a couple each maintains their own residence and shares the anchor home, they are paying for 3 residences, which isn’t feasible for most families.
  2. No true private space. There are other issues, if they choose to share one additional residence while rotating in and out of the anchor home, so that they are only paying for a total of 2 residences. In those cases, couples have discovered that it can be very awkward sharing 2 residences after divorce, even if they’re not sleeping there at the same time.  Neither ever has any private space or complete separation, even though they are legally divorce.

What Do Couples Typically Do?

With the mediating couples who still choose to bird nest after exploring all their options, we’ve found that they generally use it as only a temporary, interim solution.  They usually don’t share an additional residence, as that seems too awkward.  Instead, they choose to stay with family or friends for a period of time until everyone has had a chance to transition to the new family dynamic.  Long term, we usually see one parent keeping the anchor house and the other obtaining their own home.

Do you think a bird nesting divorce might be right for your divorce? Schedule a call with one of our divorce mediators, and we’ll help you find the right solution for your family. Call today at 602.714.7447.