What is ‘Bird’s Nest’ Custody & Is it Available in NY?

by | Jan 3, 2023 | Child Custody NY

If you’re considering divorce and have children, you may have heard the term “Bird’s Nest Custody” and wonder if it’s an option on Long Island, NY. Or, perhaps you’ve never heard of this type of child custody and are interested in learning how it works. Discover bird nesting, how to know if it’s right for your family, and how an experienced Long Island divorce attorney can help you understand your custody options, which one is right for your family and make sure your rights are protected.

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What Is ‘Bird’s Nest Custody’ & How Does It Work?

Bird’s nest custody refers to a situation where, after the divorce, the children remain in the family home and the divorced parents take turns living there. This allows the children to have stability and continuity in their daily lives, while still having access to both parents.

There are a few different ways that bird’s nest custody can work in practice. In some cases, the parents alternate living in the family home every week. So, for example, Parent A would live in the home with the children from Monday to Friday, while Parent B would live elsewhere. Then, on Friday evening, Parent B would move into the family home and stay there until Monday morning when Parent A moves back in.

In other cases, one parent may live in the family home full-time while the other parent has an apartment nearby. The parent who is not living in the family home will typically visit on weekends and during weeknights.

The arrangement can also be made around the parents’ work schedules or social commitments. For example, if one parent works nights and weekends while the other has a more traditional 9-5 job, they may switch off living at home accordingly.

Benefits of Bird’s Nesting for Children & Parents

There are many potential benefits of bird’s nest custody arrangements. First and foremost, it offers children more consistency during a time of upheaval and change. It also makes it easier for the child to maintain a quality relationship with both parents post-divorce.

Another potential benefit is that it can make co-parenting easier as there is no need to coordinate pick-ups and drop-offs of children between households. This can be especially helpful if parents live far apart from each other or have difficulty communicating with each other.

It can also help save money, since only one household needs to be maintained for the children instead of two separate homes.

Does Long Island Allow Bird’s Nest Child Custody?

In New York, bird’s nest custody is not specifically recognized by state law, nor is it a prohibited arrangement. If this is something you’re interested in, you have the right to discuss these arrangements with your ex and pursue this type of custody. However, courts have the discretion to approve or deny such arrangements depending on whether or not they’re in the best interests of the children involved.

How to Decide If Bird Nesting Is Right for Your Family

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether bird’s nest custody is right for you and your family. If you are considering this as an option for your divorce, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it’s critical to make sure that both you and your ex-spouse are on board. This type of custody arrangement can be emotionally challenging, and both parents must be committed to making it work.

Another issue that’s important to consider is whether or not your children are old enough to fully understand the boundaries in a bird’s nest arrangement. If your children are very young, they may find it confusing. Of course, very young children often find the whole concept and arrangements of divorce confusing. On the other hand, older children often find it easier to understand and may prefer this type of arrangement, since it allows them to have a stable home life even though their parents aren’t married.

Finally, you should also think about whether or not you and your ex can afford to maintain two households for your children. In a traditional child custody arrangement, each parent has their own home where the children alternate spending their time. Bird nesting allows parents to pay for only one family home, and the other can stay in a small apartment or with a roommate. This is often much cheaper than the alternative.

When You Need a Consultation with a Long Island, NY Divorce Lawyer

If you think bird’s nest custody might be right for you and your family, reach out to an experienced Long Island divorce attorney to help you understand the legal implications of this type of arrangement and navigate the complex logistics involved in making it work. Call Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today for more information at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form on this page.

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