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3 drawbacks of birdnesting after a California divorce

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Child Custody and Visitation

After divorce, parents need to continue providing for their children’s well-being and stability. This includes giving them a safe and nurturing environment, emotional support, financial stability and access to essential resources for their growth and development.

Birdnesting, a custody arrangement where children remain in the home while parents rotate in and out, has gained attention as an alternative to traditional co-parenting setups. While it offers certain advantages, it also presents several drawbacks.

Lack of closure

When ex-spouses have decided to end their marriage and pursue separate lives, achieving closure is an essential step in the healing process for both adults and children involved. However, birdnesting can impede this closure by blurring the boundaries between the former spouses’ roles and responsibilities. Instead of physically separating and establishing new living arrangements, ex-partners continue to share a common space, albeit at different times. This perpetual overlap can make it challenging for individuals to emotionally disentangle from their former spouse and fully embrace their new identity as a single parent.

Increased chance of conflict

Close proximity to an ex-spouse, especially in a shared living arrangement like birdnesting, can significantly increase the chance of conflict. While the intention behind birdnesting may be to minimize conflict and provide stability for the children, the reality is often quite different. Living in close quarters with a former partner can reignite old tensions and resentments, making it difficult for both parents to move forward amicably. Simple disagreements or misunderstandings can escalate into larger conflicts when there is no physical separation to provide a buffer.

Ownership questions

When birdnesting with your ex-spouse, questions about shared household items and responsibilities can become complicated. Unlike in traditional co-parenting setups, where each parent manages their own household, ownership issues arise when both share the family home at different times. Disputes may arise over decisions on expenses, maintenance and personal belongings, leading to ongoing tension and uncertainty.

Legal guidance can help you determine the best co-parenting arrangement to ensure the well-being and stability of the children.