What Is a Bird-Nesting Custody Plan?

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What Is a Bird-Nesting Custody Plan?

The divorce rate is at an all-time high in the US.  More than 50 percent of the marriages end up in a divorce. Usually, it results in a deep psychological and emotional trauma not just for the parents, but also the children.

To minimize the pain felt by a child after a divorce, a lot of parents these days are agreeing to a divorce plan known as ‘bird’s nesting custody plan’. The plan can shield children from the chaos of divorce. However, it is not for everyone.

Let’s find out what is meant by a bird’s nest divorce plan, and whether it is the right option for the divorcing couples.

What is a ‘Bird-Nesting Custody Plan’?

A bird-nesting custody plan is a temporary arrangement that is sometimes agreed by the partners. It is a transitional arrangement that aims to minimize the trauma felt by the divorcing partner’s children.

Nesting allows the children to stay in the family home. Each parent take turns spending time with the children at home. When it’s not their turn, the parent lives in a separate house. The plan ends once the youngest child reaches the age of majority, which is between 18 and 21 depending on the state laws.

Benefits and Drawbacks of the Custody Plan

The main benefit of the bird-nesting custody plan is that it shades the children from the trauma due to moving houses after a divorce. It allows their lives to continue as usual after a divorce without facing any psychological problems.

Also, parents can communicate more effectively with each other regarding child care. They can talk face-to-face or leave a sticky note on the fridge.

However, there are certain disadvantages regarding the bird-nesting custody plan that you should know. The major drawback of the plan is that the parents have to maintain the marital home. This can create an additional financial burden for both the parents.

The parents must share the responsibilities of cleaning dishes and clothes, buying groceries, and performing other household chores. Additionally, the spouse and child support can be impacted by the bird’s nest plan. This is the reason in most cases the nesting plan is mutually agreed by the parents. A court does not order the parents to agree to a bird nesting plan.


A bird-nesting custody plan can help in certain situations after divorce. However, it is not the best option for everyone. You should decide after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan. Also, consider hiring an experienced family law attorney to get legal help regarding divorce cases. Hiring an Orange County family attorney from OrangeCountyLawyers.com can make the divorce process much smoother allowing you to focus on rebuilding your life after divorce.