Divorce is often postponed or avoided altogether when spouses consider the toll it may take on their children. Without speaking to a competent Michigan divorce lawyer, parents may think the best decision is just to stay in an unhappy marriage and tough it out… for the kids’ sake, of course. Little do they know how much damage they’re causing in the process. The truth is kids are resilient, and unless you keep your family completely secluded they likely have at least a few friends who have gone through a divorce. Not all parents can maintain a healthy relationship after the marriage ends and, let’s face it, not all should. However, families who can work together without issue, see the necessity of focusing on their children’s needs in this intense emotional time, and have the financial flexibility needed to participate in this option should consider bird nesting. But what in the world is that and how does it work?
What Is Bird Nesting? There are many types of co-parenting or joint custody arrangements you can consider during your Michigan divorce. Bird nesting is one of them. Although this type of co-parenting arrangement isn’t common yet, many parents who can remain civil on a consistent basis post-divorce and have the mental capacity to put their children first do see the benefits of the arrangement have opted to try the method. It is not mandated or even suggested by the court system, however, due to its high-structured nature and financial requirements so it must be requested by both parents during the divorce proceedings.
How Does Bird Nesting Work? Most co-parenting options allow both parents to maintain separate housing as the children float back and forth from one household to the other. Bird nesting is a bit different. Imagine an actual bird’s nest. After the offspring are hatched, they remain in the nest as the parents flit off to gather twigs, berries, moss, and sustenance needed as the baby birds grow into fledglings. At no time are the birds removed from the nest until they are ready for flight.
Such is the case in bird nesting. In this type of co-parenting system, three households are maintained: one for each parent and a separate one for the children. The kids maintain their normal lives: they continue going to school, participating in the activities they love, and hang out with the friends they’ve developed over the years. The children alone in their household, but the parents are never together in it, either. As one parent moves in to take care of the kids, the other goes back to their own residence. That parent then relieves the other when it’s their custodial time. Bird nesting should only be considered for parents who live locally, have the financial freedom to accept the terms, and are emotionally stable enough together to focus solely on the ongoing needs of their children.
Does This Really Work Long-Term? Those who truly understand how this co-parenting option works and have the ability to do it can do wonders with it. It’s definitely not for everyone. This is a child-centric option to the extreme where both parents maintain separate homes outside of the main household. It offers more security to the children since they don’t have to remove and replace their toys, bedding, homework, or clothes from one home to another. But it requires a great amount of civility, respect, and patience from both parents.
Bird nesting is expensive since three households must be maintained. However, parents often have an easier time relocating temporarily to another household than the children do. This co-parenting system encourages universal house rules that are to be mandated and followed by both parents simultaneously. There are some issues bird nesting does not take into consideration, such as what might happen if one or both parents begin seeing other people, but welcome to the world of divorce. Bird nesting certainly is not for every situation, but if you feel it could fit yours be sure to mention it as an option to your Michigan divorce attorney.