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While divorces are very emotional and strenuous for parents, they can be equally as difficult for the children. One alternative-parenting schedule is referred to as bird nesting or “nesting.” This type of parenting plan is designed to limit the disruption to the children’s normal schedule after a divorce. Nesting requires the parents to move homes rather than the children. This provides the children with one stable home instead of two.

Nesting in Action

In a nesting arrangement, the parents would switch between the homestead and an additional secondary residence. This means the children continue to reside in the marital homestead full-time. The on-duty parent would reside at the homestead and the off-duty parent would stay in a different location. Parents would switch residences when they switch parenting time. Most of the time, parents will rent an apartment for them to share when it is not their parenting time.

Parents may desire a week on-week off schedule or perhaps, selecting designated days every week and alternating weekends for parenting-time. Like any parenting plan, nesting is specific to the individual needs of a family.

Short-Term Option

Nesting can be a great short-term or transitional option for parenting-time following a divorce. Divorces involve many changes, physically and emotionally, within a small period of time. A few months of nesting can allow parties to regain their footing as single-individuals and allow the kids to adjust to the new family dynamic. This process eases children into a two-household family.

For parents who are divorcing with children nearly adulthood, nesting can be a beneficial option to keep the status quo as the child finishes high school and prepares for college.


Divorces can be expensive and reestablishing finances post-divorce can be challenging. Nesting offers some financial ease to monthly expenses. Parties can simply maintain the family home and rent a small apartment or studio rather than paying for two family-sized homes. This can offer parties the ability to establish their individual finances.

If you have questions about nesting, custody, or divorce, contact our law firm today. Our family law attorneys have handled hundreds of  divorce cases with varying parenting-time arrangements. Contact our office at (763) 783-5146 or submit an online contact inquiry on our website. We are ready to help.