Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Does “birdnesting” work for kids after divorce?

One of the most common concerns among parents who are seeking a divorce is how the separation will impact their children. While children of all ages and stages are going to experience the aftermath of the divorce, it is possible to minimize the detrimental effects of this process. 

According to an article published on NBC News, many divorced parents are "birdnesting" in hopes of keeping the home environment as stable as possible for their children.

What is birdnesting

Birdnesting is the term used for an alternate housing situation that is being adopted by divorced couples across the country. Rather than having the children split their time between the different homes of their individual parents, families are maintaining one central home where the children reside full-time. The parents take turns living in the home with the children, while staying in a different shared house or apartment when it is not their visitation time. In many cases, often due to financial circumstances, the parents share the alternate home or apartment as well as the main family home.

Benefits 

Experts are finding that there are benefits of birdnesting that parents should consider if they are in the midst of a divorce:

  • Birdnesting provides children with stability. They are not forced to leave the home that they are comfortable in and used to. In addition, they do not have to pack up every other weekend to spend time at another place that may not feel as familiar, and that may dredge up reminders of the divorce. 
  • Through birdnesting, children are able to maintain their own personal lives without disruption. They are not forced to switch schools, and they can maintain their friendships just as easily as they did before.

Disadvantages 

While birdnesting may be the best option for some families, there are some disadvantages that parents should consider before making their final decision:

  • Most experts have found that birdnesting only works in the first weeks and months following a divorce. The reality is, it can be difficult for parents to maintain this structure the longer it goes after a divorce. In particular, it's challenging to continue if the parents become involved in relationships with other people.
  • Birdnesting can sometimes be confusing for children. Their home is a place where their family was always together, and it can be painful to be faced with reminders that the family unit no longer resides in the home together.

In reality, every couple has to consider their own circumstances as they decide how to divide custody and arrange visitation with their children after a divorce. To create a plan that works for your family, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who specializes in family law. The right attorney will work with you to advocate for your rights and to create a custody agreement that works for both you and your children.

For more information and to discuss the specifics of your situation, contact our law firm today to set up a consultation appointment.

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Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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