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Is birdnesting a workable solution for child custody?

Even when it is time for divorce, as a parent, you are still always looking out for what will be best for your children. While you and your spouse may not always agree on what that means, generally you still have the same intention.

In the interest of making the transition easier on the children, some divorcing couple are trying an idea called "birdnesting". It is not something that can work in every situation, but some are saying that it makes the process easier for the children.

Here are a few FAQs on what birdnesting is and how it works.

How does birdnesting work?

In a typical divorce, child custody means the parents shuttling the children back and forth between houses. It means there is a new time and driving commitment so that the children can spend time with both parents.

In a birdnesting situation, the parents are the ones that move back and forth while the children stay in the familiar family home. They get the security of sleeping in a familiar bed in the same room with the only change being which parent is in the house.

Where do the parents live when not with the children?

For parents who are able to afford it, each parent then gets their own residence and they share the responsibility of paying and caring for the family home. In these situations, there are then three homes between the parents and the children.

Other parents get one "second home" that they share when they are not in the family home, taking turns in the "parent home" and the "children's home."

Is it worth it?

It depends. The biggest factor is how attached the children are to the family home and how difficult the divorce transition will be for them. For some children, having one piece of consistency when their whole world is changing is comforting. They don't have to pack up their belongings every week when it's time to change parents and they are able to keep going to the same school and playing with the same neighborhood friends.

For other children, it can be confusing. It can seem like their parents are going to get back together because they are still in the same house and their parents are coming and going, just on a different schedule.

In the best cases, the benefits to birdnesting have been short-term. It can be a way to transition into what will eventually be a moving-back-and-forth more traditional custody arrangement.

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