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March 31, 2022

Birdnesting trend sees new approach to co-parenting

Birdnesting trend sees new approach to co-parenting

Date updated:

So-called birdnesting is growing in popularity as parents seek to ensure stability for their children following divorce or separation.

The new approach to co-parenting means children remain living at the family home with the parents ‘nesting’, ie taking it in turns to live at the property and care for the children. 

This is in contrast to the more usual approach which sees the children living between two different properties as part of any shared parenting arrangement. 

The aim of a birdnesting arrangement is to ensure less disruption for children and was even highlighted in the ITV drama Our House.

  • Children can remain living at the family home in the same bedroom with all that is familiar to them. This can provide them with stability and consistency at a difficult time. 
  • It enables children to remain close to their schools and close friends. 
  • The children do not need to travel between two homes. They don’t need to worry about  having to pack bags to spend time with each parent which can avoid mishaps such as forgotten PE kits.
  • The approach can be confusing for the children. There is no clear separation between the parents.
  • Bird nesting will require parents to be able to communicate clearly and co-operate. The parents will need to have very clear arrangements about what will be required in order to make this work,  unexpected events such as new relationships could unravel the routine. 
  • The cost of such an arrangement can sometimes be high. On separation, most parents will also need to address the financial matters arising from their separation. It might simply not be viable for parents to run effectively three homes.
  • It prevents achieving a full clean break as the parties remained tied together in respect of the former matrimonial home.

In some cases, a birdnesting agreement will work really well and in other cases, simply not so well. Each case will be different.  It can though be a useful arrangement to follow when parents are deciding final arrangements as it enables the children to stay where they are on an interim basis.

We would suggest seeking independent advice before entering into such an agreement to better understand it if will work for your family. It is also sensible to record the terms of any birdnesting agreement in a document which parties can follow to make the arrangements work in practice.

Our children and mediation team can provide advice on birdnesting agreements and please do feel free to get in touch on 01225 337599.