A look at the birdnesting trend for children of divorced parents

When parents in Nebraska decide to end their marriages, they naturally want to limit distress and disruption for their children. A relatively new concept known as birdnesting has gained attention because children stay in the marital home instead of traveling between two parental households. One parent at a time stays in the children's home according to the custody schedule. The parents maintain a separate apartment, and they split their time individually between the children's home and the apartment. From the children's point of view, their lives remain largely the same because they stay in the same neighborhood and school district all of the time.

In the opinion of one family therapist, the birdnesting strategy has the potential to ease children's shock and help them transition to the reality of divorced parents. She only considers it appropriate for the short term. If parents birdnest beyond three months, she believed that children might become hopeful that their parents would reconcile.

A family law attorney who has represented clients employing this approach agreed that it was only appropriate in the short term. Additionally, the parents must have the ability to cooperate without fighting while they focus on their children. Divorcing spouses with a hostile relationship would probably find it too frustrating to share the two homes. Evidence of visiting romantic partners or missing food could upset people easily and undermine their attempt to limit disputes for the sake of the children.

Many factors will influence how a person develops a child custody agreement. The advice of an attorney might help a person work through issues like work schedules and parental relocation when negotiating the terms of child custody or visitation. An attorney may be able to suggest compromises that resolve disputes or petition a court to make a decision regarding the assignment of custody.

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  • Nebraska State Bar Association
  • American Association For Justice
  • Illinois State Bar Association
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