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Could Birdnesting Be Right for You?

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family attorneyTraditionally, the court determines a parenting time agreement for a divorcing couple and as this agreement states, the child spends a specific amount of time in each parent's household each week. This requires travel between two houses, which can cut into each parent's time with the child and cause the child to feel like he or she has two homes. This setup is not a problem for some families, but for others, a lot of value is placed on the child having only one home. For these families, birdnesting can be an ideal solution.

Birdnesting is an arrangement where a divorced couple's child remains in one home at all times and the parents rotate in and out of it for their respective parenting time blocks. When it is not a parent's time to be in the house with his or her child, he or she resides in a separate residence. This child-centered form of co-parenting has its benefits, but also comes with drawbacks.

Benefits of Birdnesting

The greatest benefit that comes with a birdnesting arrangement is that the child does not have to be uprooted from his or her home. Neither parent is seen as the parent the child “visits” in this type of arrangement, so both parents are associated with being at home.

Other benefits have to do with the costs associated with birdnesting. In some cases, the parents agree to share the off-time residence as well, saving themselves the cost of maintaining two separate residences alongside the child's residence. This off-time residence can be fairly modest, such as a studio or one-bedroom apartment nearby.

Drawbacks of Birdnesting

Birdnesting is great for parents who can effectively work together. It can be a disaster for parents who do not have an amicable relationship. Even parents who think they can pull it off might find later that successfully co-parenting their child this way is impossible. For example, one parent might find him- or herself tasked with the greater share of the house's maintenance after the divorce or feel resentful when the other parent brings a new partner around the house.

Many couples simply want a clean break from each other when they divorce. Birdnesting makes this impossible. Issues can continue to arise in the years following the divorce when parents decide to remarry and have more children, forcing individuals to ask themselves who can live in the house and at what point should they either sell the property or have one partner buy out the other's interest in it.

Work with an Experienced Kane County Divorce Attorney

Family, marriage, divorce, and co-parenting trends come and go. Some of these trends stick around because they work well and others, like permanent spousal maintenance and visitation, are largely left in the past because they do not fit the modern family's needs. If you are considering divorce or working through the after-effects of your divorce like determining a parenting time agreement, work with an experienced Kane County divorce attorney. Contact our team at The Goostree Law Group today to get started with our firm.



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