Health 2 - Insights - banner 1900 x 500

Is bird’s nest parenting the answer for divorcing parents?

Corey Gauci

Bird’s nest parenting is one option for parenting during separation and divorce. This concept gives children figurative custody of the family home. Rather than the children going from one parent’s home to another, the children stay put in the family home. The parents on the other hand each move into their own residence and split their time between that residence and the family home.  In some families, the parents share the second home and move in and out of the family home due to economic concerns.

The overall benefit of nesting is that the children keep the consistency of their home. The children are able to keep their belongings in the home and maintain the same bedroom and living space regardless of which parent is spending time with them. A benefit for the parents comes with the fact that it eliminates the need for shuffling the children’s homework, books, sports equipment, etc. from home to home.

Yet family experts warn that bird’s nest parenting is not for every separated couple. It comes with its own unique challenges, and while it can be useful during the transition to divorce, is rarely sustainable in the long term. Having belongings in two places can be stressful, and the parents must also discuss any communal items that will remain in the family home. Because the children will be remaining in the home, items like furniture, appliances, and electronics (like a family computer) will usually be remaining. When parents elect to share one second home, there are other considerations such as privacy and how moving in and out of the second home will be managed. Expectations regarding personal property, cleaning, purchasing food and cooking in each home need to be clarified in advance and memorialised in the written plan.

Although nesting can provide a more comfortable situation for the children through a divorce, it is not considered to be a permanent solution. Many parents find it useful to agree on a time-frame for the nesting process. As the children grow, they will become more comfortable with their new family situation and adjustments can gradually be made to the living arrangements. As discussed above, nesting requires each parent to essentially maintain a separate residence or share the separate residence in addition to the family home. Depending on the circumstances, this situation may not be sustainable for an extended period of time.

If you require assistance with bird’s nest parenting or with developing an effective and practical parenting plan and need the services of our solicitors, contact our Family Law team by clicking here.

To keep updated with insights from Russell Kennedy, please sign up here

View related insights

Family Law - Financial Agreements - Cover page -360x240

Family Law Video Alert: Financial Agreements

8 Sep 2020

Amy Jenkins, Principal from Russell Kennedy's Dispute Resolution team, outlines what binding financial agreements are, why they are important, and who should get one.

Signing Official Document Will 360x240

A change to the tax law governing income received by minors from testamentary trusts

8 Jul 2020

Reforms to tax concessions available to minors receiving income from testamentary trusts proposed by the 2018 Federal Budget (finally) received assent on 22 June 2020 with the passing of the Treasury ...

AJ-Divorce cover

Family Law Video Alert: Divorce

8 May 2020

Amy Jenkins, Principal from Russell Kennedy's Dispute Resolution team, outlines the divorce process and considerations for applying for divorce.