Will a “bird’s nest” work for your custody?

There comes a time during a divorce that the parents have to decide how to handle the custody arrangements for their child or children. Traditionally, the children went with their mother and the father received “visitation” a few time a month. The mother might have stayed in the family home while the father would move out.

Fathers today are often much more involved raising their children, frequently receiving the children 50 percent of the time. This can cause its own complications. One of the most difficult is the transfer of children between parent’s new homes. If they have to move every three to four days, it can leave the children even more disoriented than they already are likely to be after a divorce.

Some research has shown negative effects for children after a divorce from the disruption caused by the changing of residences. This has led some to argue that for young children it is best if they spend the majority of their time with their mothers. However, this denies them the opportunity to spend time with their fathers and causes a father to miss much of those early years with their child.

One solution to this quandary is the idea of “bird’s nest” custody. In this scenario, the children remain in a single home and the parents rotate in and out, as their parenting plan requires.

This plan provides continuity and consistency for the children and allows them the stability of a single bedroom, with one set of toys and no need for the duplication of clothes, electronics or other items.

For children busy with school activities, such an arrangement could have significant advantages. But such arrangements can be complex for parents and we will look at some of those issues in our next post.

Source:, “‘Bird’s nest custody’: The smart new way to divorce,” Radhika Sanghani, FEBRUARY 7, 2016

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