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What does a birdnesting custody approach require from parents?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Custody & Visitation

Most Indiana divorces lead to parents sharing custody. In a traditional co-parenting arrangement, the children frequently move back and forth between the spaces where their parents live. It can be very difficult for children to acclimate to those frequent moves, as they might misplace items or feel frustrated about all the time lost in transit between the houses. The new living arrangements could force them to change schools and cut them off from friends. They may also come to dread the conflict that may arise during the actual exchange process.

Concerned parents may want to consider every alternative when negotiating shared custody arrangements as part of an Indiana divorce. A birdnesting custody agreement could help keep things more stable for the children in a family.

What does birdnesting entail?

When birds hatch a nest full of eggs, there is usually only room for one parent in the nest at a time. The parents come and go from the nest to protect and feed the hatchlings. They alternate responsibilities in many cases.

A birdnesting custody arrangement follows this example. The children remain in the family home. They don’t travel back and forth between two locations but instead typically live in the same place they did before the divorce. Doing so keeps them connected to the same social supports and in a safe environment that they trust. The parents are the ones who obtain an alternative place to live and come and go from the home regularly. Birdnesting requires financial commitment, emotional maturity and the ability to maintain a regular schedule.

In a successful bird nesting arrangement, each parent spends time at the family home during their parenting time and then leaves for privacy and respite when the other parent has time with the children. There are some challenges inherent in birdnesting arrangements, not the least of which can be the expense involved in maintaining separate living spaces and the family home. However, when parents consider that they could live with roommates or in other shared housing arrangements because they don’t need to accommodate their children, a birdnesting agreement might be more realistic than they initially imagine.

Exploring different custody solutions may help parents to make truly informed decisions about which approach may best suit their children’s needs.

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