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A different approach to child custody scheduling

Virtually all Alabama parents, whether divorced or not, are familiar with the basic outline of how divorced parents share custody of their kids. The child or children usually move between the homes of both parents, spending most of their time with one parent while the other receives liberal visitation time on weekends and school holidays. While this child custody arrangement is the most common, it is not the only way that parents can divide their parenting time and responsibilities.

A new trend among divorced parents is known as "birdnesting." This approach flips the traditional model outlined above on its head: the child stays put in one home and the parents rotate in and out of that household. This arrangement allows the child to have all of the stability and security of living within one home (similar to how things were when the family was intact.)

That stability is created by a great deal of sacrifice on the part of both parents. They are the ones who are caught in a constant routine of coming or going. They must manage their own schedules around these moves, and must address issues that arise when necessities or niceties are left behind. In addition, parents must also figure out a housing solution for when they are not within the birdnest home, which brings about additional expense.

Birdnesting will not work for every Alabama family, but it is a unique take on what has come to be accepted as the child custody "norm" of having the child or children transition from one household into the other, then back again. If nothing else, spending some time thinking about the sacrifice and potential headaches of having to move between two households can give parents a deeper understanding of what their kids are going through. That alone can make it worthwhile to consider birdnesting as an option.  

Source: New York Post, "Is "birdnesting" the stupidest - or smartest - divorce trend yet?", Anna Davies, April 28, 2016

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