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What makes birdnesting work?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2022 | Family Law

Birdnesting is a unique custody situation where the children live in one house 100% of the time. The parents do share custody, but the schedule doesn’t tell them when the children move into their house. It tells the parents when they are supposed to move into the house with the children. They share this responsibility by switching back and forth and living elsewhere when they don’t have custody.

This arrangement is often seen as one that is beneficial for the children, giving them stability and allowing them to stay together in their family home. But it can be difficult for parents. What are some of the factors that will make it work?


First of all, you and your spouse need to be able to communicate. There are a lot of things that you’ll need to do jointly since you’re still sharing that family home. You need to be able to talk about these things freely and easily. Couples who are on good terms may find this easy, but there are those couples who simply can’t imagine this level of communication after a divorce.


It’s also simply important to cooperate with your spouse. The point of birdnesting is to put your children first. This can be difficult for you as a parent. But you still need to cooperate when it comes to the schedule, taking care of the house, paying the bills, dividing up costs and setting up rules for the children.


In some situations, it may be absolutely necessary for you to compromise. You and your spouse are so closely involved with the children and with the home, and that means you may have to be willing to give up things that you want in some cases. This is a give-and-take setup, however, so your ex is going to have to do the same thing. The two of you have to work together to find solutions that are actually applicable to your entire family.

If you do think you can make this work, it can absolutely be a great custody arrangement. Just make sure you know what legal options you have.