Bird’s Nest Custody; An Interesting Alternative for Shared Custody

Passaic County NJ Child Custody AttorneysUp until very recently, any time divorced parents shared custody or parenting time of their children, they would do so from two separate residences. Depending on the exact parenting time schedule, the children would move back and forth between the homes of their parents, bringing their belongings, school work, clothing, and other important possessions with them. This understandably has the potential to cause a great deal of confusion and stress for the children involved, but what alternative do divorced parents have?

With the advent of what is known as “bird’s nest custody” or “nesting agreements”, there is now a new alternative for child custody and parenting time plans for parents who are in a position to, and willing to, take advantage of this new alternative type of parenting time agreement.


What Is Bird’s Nest Custody?

Passaic County Child Custody Attorneys

Bird’s nest child custody is a parenting time arrangement in which the children live in a single home, known as “the nest”. The parents agree to a parenting time schedule, and then take turns living in the nest according to the schedule they reached.

Nesting arrangements have the obvious benefit of eliminating the moving back and forth of the children, and thus much of the stress and difficulties normally associated for them with shared child custody agreements. On the other hand, nesting arrangements can be difficult at times for the parents involved as they will need to coordinate their schedules, and move between “the nest” and their own private residences. In addition, in order for a nesting arrangement to be successful, several other requirements will need to be met.


What Do I Need for a Successful Nesting Arrangement?

Parenting Time and Visitation Lawyers Clifton, NJ 

Considering the obvious complications that bird’s nests custody can pose for the parents involved, several important requirements need to be met in order for your nesting arrangement to be successful:

  • Financial Means – Since most bird’s nest custody agreements will involve three residences (the nest, and a private residence for each parent), parents considering bird’s nest custody will need to take a close look at their finances, and ensure that their budget can support such an agreement. While some parents have chosen to share a single private residence for the times when each parent is not in the nest, this arrangement is usually not ideal.
  • Cooperation – Even though financial and emotional commitments to one-another end after divorce, parents interested in bird’s nest custody must be able to communicate and cooperate as co-parents in order for bird’s nest custody to work. You will need to coordinate schedules for yourselves and your children, and financial obligations like maintenance and upkeep of the nest.
  • Defined and Respected Boundaries – It has also been found that the success of any nesting arrangement relies heavily on each parent respecting the privacy and boundaries of the other parent when they are in the nest. If one parent regularly shows up unannounced, or calls frequently “checking up” on the family, it can sow distrust and resentment, and result in the ultimate failure of the nesting arrangment. Additionally, each parent should have their own private space within the nest, as all parents at one point or another need privacy, and a bit of space.

If you believe you and your co-parent can meet these requirements, than nesting agreements can be a great alternative for you and your children. Speak with your Woodland Park child custody attorney about securing a nesting arrangement as part of your child custody agreement.


How Can I Get Bird’s Nest Custody during My Passaic County Divorce?

Family courts recognize the difficulties that a nesting arrangement can pose for the parents involved, and as such will only approve bird’s nest custody in the case that both parents voluntarily agree to this kind of arrangement, and will never order bird’s nest custody as part of your divorce settlement without this voluntary agreement from both parents.

However, there are times when bird’s nest custody may be ordered on a temporary basis during the divorce process. This typically happens when the parents are in the process of selling the family home, but have not yet secured permanent and stable residences for themselves.

So if you are interested in bird’s nest custody, you will also need to convince your co-parent that such an arrangement is feasible, and advantageous to the lives of your children. This may require a thorough review of your finances, as well as the negotiation of the specific terms and schedules involved, and our experienced Passaic County child custody attorneys are prepared to help you do exactly these things while also ensuring that any agreement you reach is fair to you and accounts for your needs and rights as a parent, and as an individual.


Contact Our Woodland Park Custody and Parenting Time Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of The Montanari Law Group, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to fairly and effectively resolve their divorce and its key issues of marital asset and debt division, child custody, child support, and alimony across Wayne, Clifton, West Milford, Woodland Park, and the greater Passaic County area.

Regardless of whether or not you believe bird’s nest custody will work for you, our family law team is prepared to provide you with the knowledgeable, attentive, and compassionate legal service that you need and deserve when it comes to the family law issues which will impact your financial, legal, and parental future for years to come.

To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your child custody agreement, or your options for securing bird’s nest custody, please contact us online, or through our Little Falls, NJ office at (973) 233-4396.


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.