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What is the 'bird's nest' co-parenting plan?

Imagine an eagle's nest. You have two adult birds and some eaglets chirping away in the nest. Mother eagle and father eagle go out hunting for food, and they share in their duties. Sometimes, father eagle comes home with a fish and carefully feeds it to the babies. Other times, it's mother eagle who comes home with a rodent to give them. The parents are doing their own things separately. At the same time, everything revolves around the kids.

The novel concept of "bird's nest" co-parenting is definitely not going to be for every parent, but it's an interesting concept to consider. The general concept is this: The parents adjust themselves to the children, and they attempt to keep life as stable as possible for their kids. They do this by letting the children continue living in the same house. The mother and father will then find new homes, or maybe just one extra home. Sometimes, dad is at the home of the kids, tending to their needs, and mom is at the other house. Other times, mom is at the home of the kids.

Family psychologists say that this is an interesting arrangement because it minimizes the "disruptive" aspect of divorce that causes the kids to change their routines and shuffle their way between two different homes. Bird's nest parenting says that it's the parents who should do the shuffling back and forth. Some parents create temporary arrangements like this to smooth the transition into post-divorce life. Other parents find it so agreeable that they make the arrangements permanent.

There are countless creative ways to organize child custody and bird's nest parenting is just one of them. Make sure you talk to your family law attorney about all of your child custody options before you settle on a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

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