New trend could help children adjust following divorce

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Television and movies often portray the end of a marriage as highly contentious. In these dramatizations, parents typically battle over every detail during their divorce, especially when it comes to child custody arrangements. However, these portrayals are usually far from reality, with many parents in Texas dedicated to ensuring that the end of their romantic relationship has as little negative impact on their children as possible. As a result, some couples are now entering into an arrangement called “birdnesting.”

Following a divorce, each person traditionally seeks their own separate place to live, and the children would move between the two houses. In a birdnesting arrangement, however, the children remain at the family house and the parents rotate in and out. The goal of the arrangement is to remove some of the burden that children experience following their parents’ split.

While there are benefits to the arrangement, it is not feasible for all parents. For some, the expense of essentially maintaining three residences makes the arrangement impossible. While some parents choose to circumvent this obstacle by only having two residences — the family home that the children live in full time and a small apartment that the parents stay when not with the children — many couples find they are still facing many of the conflicts that ultimately resulted in the end of their marriage.

When it comes to divorce, each situation is unique. For many in Texas, an arrangement such as this could be beneficial for all involved, while in others, it could simply result in more conflict. Regardless of the chosen arrangement, a clear parenting plan can help ensure that the responsibilities of each person are clearly outlined to potentially avoid future conflict.

Source:, “Is Birdnesting Good For Kids? The New Post-Divorce Arrangement Puts Kids First“, Alana Romain, May 2, 2016

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