View Our Practice Areas

Looking for a less disruptive housing arrangement for your kids?

If you're considering of involved in a divorce with kids, you may be dreading the prospect of sharing parenting responsibilities with your ex. Even if you're able to work well together as co-parents, you will still be disrupting your children's lives to a great extent simply because you will be moving into separate households. Now, your kids will have to pack their bags and move every week or so in order to spend time with the other parent.

What if you could be the ones packing your bags? It's a real possibility. It's called "bird nesting," and it involves the parents taking turns in the family home where the kids live full time. The arrangement has gotten some mainstream attention after being featured in the new ABC comedy "Splitting Up Together."

Bird nesting can be a short-term arrangement that helps children transition from living with mom and dad together to living with each one separately. There is no legal reason, however, why it could not be a long-term arrangement.

According to at least one expert, bird nesting can be especially beneficial for kids with special needs. Some such kids might do better dealing with one challenge at a time, so staying in the family home full time while the parents rotate in and out could be easier for them to handle.

It can also be beneficial for people who have another reason to delay moving out of the family home. For example, if you rent, you may benefit from allowing the lease to run out before you move. If you own a home, you might wish to wait for the market to improve.

One downside is the expense. In order for bird nesting to work, each parent needs a separate household to live in while the other is staying in the family home. In theory, the parents could share the other household, as well, however.

The arrangement may also come with an emotional downside. When you decided to divorce, you were probably hoping to get away from the day-to-day frustrations with your spouse. With bird nesting, you may be apart, but you'll still be sharing the housework.

Bird nesting may work best for parents whose divorces are amicable and who have good communication skills and boundaries. You will need to agree on rules, scheduling, shared and separate expenses, and a method for resolving disputes. On the other hand, you will have to agree on all those issues in order to work well together as co-parents, if in a less intense setting.

Is bird nesting right for your family? Discuss it with your divorce attorney to make sure you understand all the ways it could impact you, then decide.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information


  • Understanding the legalities of the divorce process Laura has walked me through the maze of this legal system educating me so that I understand the divorce process. She has fought for me an every issue that I have had concerns with and given me excellent advice when I needed it. I am very satisfied with the direction and results. - Anonymous
  • The Best Family Lawyer in MI My cousin who owns his own law firm in Toronto found Amy for me as the best female lawyer in MI. It turned out to be very true. She helped me through one of the hardest times of my life, not only just legally but emotionally through a divorce... - Graeme
  • Laura Eisenberg -Attorney Without a doubt, one of the most professional people I have ever dealt with. Laura is an over-communicator with a complete skill set. She was able to manage my expectations while helping me to feel confident in the decisions we were making. The results were great and the client-lawyer relationship was exceptional.- Jeff
  • Excellent, Supportive, Knowledgeable, Strong Amy is the best type of lawyer one could want - she is tough when needed, extremely knowledgeable about her field, confident, supportive, straightforward, reliable and cognizant of keeping financial commitments at a reasonable level. Amy handled my divorce and was not only excellent in her delivery of services, but...- Jordana
  • Highly Recommended - Caring, Tough, Affordable Lawyer Laura Eisenberg was 100% on my side during my divorce and actually got it pushed through ahead of schedule because of her good relationship with the Oakland County judge! She got me everything I wanted and also worked out the custody, child support and the property settlement that I wanted. - Katherine
  • Very Skilled & Experienced Lawyer Laura helped me through a very difficult divorce situation. I was completely taken by surprise when my spouse filed divorce papers, and was worried about the children, the house, child support, etc. A friend recommended Laura because she had really helped her with her divorce. - Anonymous
Read More
  1. Super Lawyers
  2. Distinguished AV | LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
  3. AAML | American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  4. The Best Lawyers in America
  5. MIPA
  6. Business | Top Lawyers
  7. Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb | Featured Attorney

Get Started Today

Responding to our clients' needs is our first priority at Eisenberg & Spilman, PLLC. Whether you are considering divorce and have questions about your rights, or you are seeking custody of your child, our Oakland County family law attorneys are here to help you.

We invite you to contact Eisenberg & Spilman, PLLC, at 248-358-8880 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your divorce or other family law matters. In addition to our regular business hours, evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.

Email Us For A Response

Eisenberg & Spilman, PLLC
600 South Adams Road Suite 100
Birmingham, MI 48009

Phone: 248-358-8880
Birmingham Family Law Office

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy