birdnesting - parents rotate through home rather than children - Clarity Divorce

Birdnesting and divorce…. Pros and Cons

What is nesting? Great questions?!? NBC News defines it as “for some divorcing or divorced parents, the answer is ‘nesting‘ (also called ‘birdnesting’). This means to keep the family residence intact as a home where both parents rotate living with their children, while otherwise dwelling in separate residences”

Essentially what this means is that instead of the children going from each parent’s house the children remain in the family home while each parent rotates in and out of the house based on an agreed upon schedule. For example, many parents follow a 2-2-3 schedule where one parent would be with the children in the family home for 2 days while the other parent resides in their own place and then they alternate. 

Pros and cons of nesting arrangements


Financial- Nesting can help to say a lot money during and after the separation. Mostly because it allows you each time to make informed decisions without having to move quickly. This may allow the housing market to rise, or allow for more house shopping time. 

Emotional- This is a great option for the children. Because the children don’t have to move and lose their family home there is much less disruption to their lives. The children don’t have to go from living in one home to living in two and shuffling back and forth. Also, it allows for everyone to have some time to adjust without having to pack everything up. Nesting is a slower transition which allows you time to let go and come to terms with your new circumstances. 


Blurred lines- When you split everything and go your separate ways everything is finalized. When you are nesting, you are sharing financial responsibilities and that sometimes can cause lines to be blurred. There is no clean break. 

Emotional- This somewhat ties into the blurred lines. There is no clean break, or leaving your ex in the dust with this option. There are many reminders in the family home of what was before. Although it may be what is most comfortable for the children it may not be what is most comfortable for you. In addition, it is very difficult to keep your lives separate when you are consistently sharing a space. 

The decision to go with a nesting arrangement should be discussed at length. Your mediator should walk you through it and assist you is negotiating all aspects of the arrangement down to what will happen when one of you wants to terminate the arrangement. It is imperative that you are prepared for all aspects of nesting to make an informed decision moving forward with your separation. 

If you have questions about nesting and whether or not it is for you, one of our mediators would be happy to meet with you. Book your consultation today!

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