Could you share a ‘birdnest’ for your kids with your ex?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Traditional child custody arrangements involve sending the children between their parents’ homes, whether the parents share custody equally or one parent is limited to visitation time. Recently, some divorced parents are trying a different arrangement: the children live at one home, and the parents are the ones shuttling in and out.

The New York Post calls this “birdnesting,” and says it is an increasingly popular arrangement. Some vary it slightly, by having one parent live with the child full-time, while the other parent lives nearby and comes over regularly for meals and other bonding time.

Obviously, birdnesting is not for everybody. One woman currently birdnesting with her ex-husband and their children complained that she feels like she does not have a home of her own. She noted that she and her ex are still fighting over the same things that caused the divorce in the first place.

Still, some couples see keeping their kids in a single household, while still getting to see both parents regularly, as a more stable arrangement. One father and his ex birdnested their son for about a year before selling their apartment.

When not at the apartment, each ex slept on friends’ couches, which the father admitted was “tough.” But he believes doing it eased his son’s adjustment to the new reality of his parents’ divorce.

For now, we suspect most Illinois parents will continue to choose to maintain separate households from their exes. Of course, their children’s best interests will still be the important thing when determining child custody, and having an experienced family law attorney can ensure that the children’s well-being will be maintained.

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