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The short- and long-term birdnesting solution

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2020 | Child Custody

Parents thinking about divorce are usually primarily concerned about their children. They are worried about how it will affect them, and more importantly, they are looking for ways to make the entire process easier. One way this can be done is through nesting, often called birdnesting.


Birdnesting is a living arraignment made post-divorce where the family home is not sold or given to either spouse. Instead, the child lives in the home as if the divorce never happened, and when it is a parent’s time to parent (the “on-duty parent”), the come back to the family home for their custody time.

The name refers to how parent birds alternatively fly in and out to care for their babies. The babies stay in the safety of the bird nest. The birds “co-parent” by working together to maintain the family nest to keep the baby birds safe.

Birdnesting Advantages

In a normal joint custody arraignment, the child shuffles from one parent’s home to the other. This can be jarring for children as it is completely different from their normal home life. Staying in the family home allows the child time to adapt to being parented by each parent individually. It can also make the child feel more secure as their home life remains largely unchanged.

For parents, this can be a cheaper arraignment because they can stay with family and friends when not living in the home. Even if they do decide to maintain their own home, they will need much less space, which translates into less housing costs. The parents could even share the off-site home as well, further reducing housing costs.

Costs are also reduced because doubles are not needed. Both parents do not have to buy another bed, toys, etc. And, the work of tracking those items, including school related items is reduced because again, everything stays where it has always been.


Nesting is usually temporary, lasting a few months to a year. Primarily, this is to reduce the potential emotional costs of divorce, but as a practical matter, the longer the arraignment lasts, the harder it becomes. After all, this situation will complicate as ex-spouses begin dating, marrying and having additional children.

As our California readers can tell, nesting can become complicated. But, with the help of a divorce attorney, one can better navigate the birdnesting arraignments, as well as the many other divorce issues.