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Bird Nesting Parenting Plan

Bird Nesting Parenting Plan  – the new age Coparenting Plan. For many divorcing parents it is challenging and almost unimaginable in the beginning to set their differences aside and actually collaborate on a solution that centers around their children. But when they are able to separate themselves from the conflict, and realize that they actually share common parenting goals, they are setting their children up for a much healthier future.

Bird Nesting is a new age co-parenting plan which, in the right situation and if approached correctly, can cause the least amount of disruption and provide more stability for their children during this difficult transition. It can also be the least costly option. In this co-parenting arrangement the parents maintain the marital home and also an outside residence (typically rent or purchase something affordable such as a 1 bedroom apartment or a studio). The children reside in the home and the parents take turns living in the marital home and the outside residence. In theory it should and it can work, as long as parents are able to operate as a team and find a way to work through the very things that triggered them during their marriage. The key to the viability of this arrangement is for parents to discuss and commit to following rules and set clear expectations for each other.

Parents, consider these before you “fly into the bird nest”:

  1. Before leaving either residence, remember to put away your clothes and bathroom items and keep the place tidy. If you subject your ex to seeing your clothes on the bed or the dried up toothpaste in the sink, a war may erupt and you will subject your children to the very same conflict which lead you to divorce.
  2. Make sure that you are a united front when it comes to what is expected from your children and in following general rules.
  3. Discuss how you will respect each other’s boundaries and privacy, and how it would impact the bird nesting arrangement when you have a new partner.
  4. Discuss what happens if either of you suddenly faces an unforeseen financial set back and is unable to afford the share of the agreed upon costs of maintaining both residences.
  5. Most importantly have a contingency plan in the event that the bird nesting arrangement starts to fall apart despite your best intentions. Don’t throw in the towel yet! Consider sitting down with a therapist or a mediator and getting an objective view/advice to help you get back on the right track.

Denisa Tova, CFP, CDFA is a highly experienced divorce mediator. She has helped hundreds of parents create a practical co-parenting plan.