3 reasons co-parents may attempt a birdnesting arrangement

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Family Law |

There are many ways for co-parents to share parental rights and responsibilities after a breakup or divorce. Factors ranging from the careers of the parents to the number of children in the family can influence the best way to share parenting time and decision-making authority.

One of the more unusual custody arrangements is a birdnesting arrangement. In a birdnesting custody scenario, the children stay in the family home, and the parents come and go depending on when they have parenting time. The following are the most common reasons that parents decide to attempt a birdnesting arrangement.

A child with special needs

All children tend to thrive in environments where they have a predictable schedule, known expectations and structure that they understand. That is particularly true for children with special needs. Parents may want to keep a child in the same location because they feel comfortable there and because the parents can maintain the same daily routine for the child.

A challenging real estate market

The last few years have seen an increase in the demand for residential real property, as well as a lot of competition for the homes that sellers list for sale. That competition for housing might make it all but impossible to keep the children in the same school district. Neither parent can necessarily guarantee that they can secure housing in the same school district. When parents want to keep their children in the same schools and close to the same social connections they already enjoy, a birdnesting arrangement might be a smart solution.

Relatively young children

Shared custody can be very difficult for those with particularly young children. Younger children do not yet have a sense of object permanence, making separation traumatic. Infants may struggle if they spend the night with the parent who isn’t in their primary caregiver. Toddlers and preschool-aged children may also have a hard time being away from their parents for an extended time. Birdnesting arrangements allow the adults to come in and out of the house frequently and can therefore ease the stress of separation for younger children.

Birdnesting arrangements can be very useful for adults in a host of different personal situations. Evaluating every possible option can help parents more effectively arrange to share parental rights and responsibilities.