What is bird nesting divorce?


What is bird nesting divorce?

Bird house hanging from tree branch.A bird nesting divorce, also referred to as bird’s nest custody, or bird nesting, is a living arrangement that allows for the children to continue to reside in the family home while the parties take turns living in the home. Bird nesting divorce is intended to keep the primary burden of the divorce on the parents rather than the children and avoid disrupting their living arrangements. Under a bird nesting divorce arrangement the parties live somewhere else when they are not living in the family home.

This sort of arrangement is beneficial for the children because it allows for them to continue to remain in the same home, and likely in the same school, with much less disruption to their lives than would otherwise take place if they were required to leave their home if the home was sold.  This arrangement allows for safety, stability and consistency, sometimes for a short period of time to allow the children to adapt, and sometimes for a longer period of time as determined by the parents.

There are a number of positive reasons why parties wish to explore a bird nesting plan. Sometimes this allows for a better financial arrangement by maintaining the marital home while the other party rents a smaller residence because space is not needed for the children. This can reduce otherwise more expensive post-divorce housing arrangements, where both parties are obtaining two separate residences where both of the children will reside at some point. A bird nesting arrangement eliminates the need to make a quick decision about the marital home, whether it would be sold or retained. Sometimes a bird nesting arrangement allows people to take more time to consider their options. From an emotional aspect, this tends to be a much easier arrangement for the children.

However, it can really only be successful if the parties are both on the same page. They have to be comfortable sharing the same space, even though they will not be living in the house at the same time.

Nesting after divorce 

While there may be situations where family judges will order a temporary nesting in divorce arrangement, it is not something that a court will order as a permanent arrangement following divorce. Not unlike many other aspects of family law cases, parties have the ability to make the decisions that are best for them. It is important to address the legal implications of an arrangement such as this, and the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved.  Certain issues have to be addressed in a final agreement to ensure that there is a very clear understanding of everyone’s expectations with regard to co-owning the home, liabilities, mortgage responsibilities, as well as maintenance and repair responsibilities and tax issues that have to be addressed.

Divorce under any circumstances is a difficult process, and there are many considerations that have to be evaluated when making a decision. It is always a good idea to seek professional support in addition to your attorney. Meeting with a mental health professional or support group, or just talking with friends and family about your circumstances and what might be best for you, which could include exploring nesting in divorce, pros and cons and nesting after divorce could be helpful in navigating this process.

Here at DeTorres and DeGeorge we are experienced family law practitioners, devoted to compassionate representation for our clients. If you have questions about bird nesting divorce contact us today to schedule your consultation. We can answer your questions about implementing a bird nest divorce, and whether it can work for your family. We are here to help!


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