Going through a divorce is difficult enough on its own, but a divorce with children involved can be even more stressful. Particularly at the time when you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse decide to call off the marriage, you may not have concrete future plans. However, it is also likely that you will need some space from your ex at this time.
In order to address the living situation at this point in the divorce, many parents turn to “birdnesting.” According to NBC News, “birdnesting” involves the children staying at the family home, while the parents rotate in and out according to a set schedule.
What Are the Benefits?
The biggest benefit to birdnesting is that it provides a high level of stability for your children. They will be living in the same home, with the same school district and friends. It will also give you and your ex the space you need, given that only one parent is in the house at a time.
What Are the Drawbacks?
In the vast majority of situations, birdnesting is a temporary solution and does not last longer than a few months. Usually, the parents will want to start their own independent lives at some point and maintaining the family home in addition to a separate living situation may be financially prohibitive. Additionally, birdnesting for too long may give your children a false sense of hope that you and your ex will reconcile.
Birdnesting can provide many families with a temporary option to provide their children with some stability in the early days of the divorce. It can provide both parents with space, keep continuity for the children, and give everyone in the family some necessary extra time to process and plan for the next steps in their lives.