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MICHIGAN DIVORCE LAWYER

The Divorce Attorney Journal

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bird nestingOne of the worst things about divorcing with children is the upheaval kids experience in their lives. Shuffling from house to house, needing two of everything, missing their pets or their familiar surroundings, schedule changes – it’s a lot for anyone to manage, let alone a kid whose parents are splitting up and causing enough chaos as it is. Enter the bird nesting trend. 

There is no such thing as the perfect divorce when kids are in the picture. The bird nesting co-parenting solution is aiming to change that reality.

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The Benefits of Bird Nesting

In bird nesting, instead of children of divorce having to go back and forth between their parents according to whatever custody arrangement has been worked out, the parents are the ones doing the moving around. Kids stay in the “nest,” the family home, and the parents move in when it’s their turn with the kids while the other parent moves out to their part-time abode. 

There are pros and cons to bird nesting, a situation that was originally designed as a creative solution that puts the child first. It is believed to have originated in a Virginia divorce case in 2000 where the best decision seemed to be for the two young children of a divorcing couple to stay in the family home while their mother lived with them during the week and their father moved in for the weekend.

The major benefit of bird nesting is for the children of course, who experience less upheaval and a greater sense of stability. There is no accidentally leaving their history homework or sports equipment or favorite toy at one parent’s house – everything they need is always where it should be and there is no need to have two of everything.

Parents, the ones who initiated the divorce in the first place, are the ones who feel the inconvenience of orbiting around their children in the bird nesting situation. But it’s also more likely that the non-custodial parent sees their child a lot more often than they might otherwise, and that’s a good thing.

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Different Types of Bird Nesting

There are several ways to approach bird nesting:

  • Three homes: In the ideal bird nesting situation, the family home is maintained, and both parents also maintain their separate residences outside of the family home. This makes it easy to move in and out when their turn comes. This set-up, however, can be costly. It’s essentially the maintenance of three homes, and can be especially taxing on the parent who is already paying spousal support and child support.
  • Two shared homes: For couples who divorced amicably, maintaining two separate residences might be an option. The family home remains the main space for their kids, and there is a second residence that the divorced pair share and stay in when it’s their turn to be away from the kids. A pair of exes would really have to get along with each other in order to be able to maintain this sort of existence, especially if and when new partners enter the picture.
  • The kindness of friends and family: For the most tight-knit families, or those with the most generous friends, it may be possible to stay with others on the days and nights when you’re not in the bird’s nest. It can be easy to overstay your welcome with loved ones, however, though this type of set-up can work briefly immediately following a separation or divorce when one-half of a former couple is still getting on their feet.
  • Paying to stay: Of course there is always the option to pay for a motel or hotel every time you leave the bird’s nest. This naturally incurs a cost too and can really add up over time.
  • One home: In some situations, parents will seek out a brand new living arrangement for the entire family, where both parents are able to maintain separate existences on the same property, rotating in and out of the main house to spend time with the kids. The more affluent may find this a viable and convenient option.

Bird Nesting Is for the Amicable

Of course, continuing to share a space of any sort with a person to whom you are no longer legally married can be awkward at best. Creating a list of boundaries and rules about what is done in the home, being respectful of each other’s things and personal information, and maintaining an agreed-upon schedule and set of rules for your children are paramount if bird nesting is to work.

There is also the question of home maintenance and chores and cleaning up and shopping for food – who is doing what when and who is responsible? Who is changing the sheets on the beds when they sleep in the main home? What are the rules regarding the presence of new significant others? There are a lot of questions to consider and answer before bird nesting can commence and proceed successfully. The bird nesting situations that work best are when parents are able to separate their marital conflicts from their co-parenting efforts and remain amicable as they discuss the needs of the kids and their household arrangements.

Need help drafting a clear co-parenting plan? Interested in a unique custody arrangement? Contact an experienced Michigan divorce attorney at Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens, MI, to schedule your free initial interview today.

What makes us the right divorce attorneys for you?

  • Family Law Expertise

    Most lawyers are in a general practice and do some of everything. One of our main focuses is on Family law and being expert at divorce, custody and support matters.

  • Strong Relationships

    We are in court daily, working with the family court judges, their staff and clerks, the Friend of the Court office, the Bar Association and other attorneys working in this area. We pride ourselves on fighting hard for our clients while working well with everyone.

  • Experience

    Our extensive experience and strong relationship with the courts and our peers leads many judges and attorneys to hire us to act as Mediators in other Family Law cases. Make no mistake; having a strong working relationship with the court can have a massive impact on your case. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and are in trial regularly against the best in the business. We see the judges every week and maintain strong ties with their staff.

  • We Care

    Although every attorney can “handle” your case, Femminineo Attorneys cares about you and your family. We work extremely hard to keep this difficult process civil and to shelter your children from as much of the negative facets as possible.

  • Commitment

    Once your case is concluded, we will be there to help you with any post-judgment problems that may arise.

  • Flexibility

    Everyone’s financial situation is different and we work with our clients to formulate a fee arrangement that works within your means.

  • Effectiveness

    We have handled every possible situation involving domestic law. We will do everything possible to wrap up your case in a timely manner, avoiding delays that cause unnecessary legal fees.

  • Tenacity

    When your case cannot be easily solved, we will fight hard and use all of our resources to win. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and we regularly win cases against the best in the business at trial.

  • Expert Staff

    Unlike many attorneys who have a part-time typist and work 30 hours a week, we have an expert staff available all day long to assist you and provide immediate service. We are available to our clients 24 hours a day through our hot line at 586-854-3654.

  • Personal Service

    At Femminineo Attorneys, your case will be handled by an experienced family law attorney. Each of our attorneys in our family law division has many years of experience in handling family law matters.

We encourage you to see these differences for yourself and call today to speak with one of our partners or schedule a free consultation at our office.

During traditional business hours, please call us at:

(586) 954-9500

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Michigan Divorce Attorney

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The information presented within this website is for general information purposes and is NOT and should not be considered as being “legal advice”. You should not act on any information presented herein without the verifying same with your attorney.

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