Determining how to divide parenting time is among the most difficult aspects of many Arizona divorce proceedings. Both parents usually want to remain connected with their child or children, and many fear that by sharing child custody, they will be missing out on a portion of the limited days of childhood. In an effort to minimize this lost time and make matters easier for the kids, some families have taken an unusual approach to co-parenting.
The approach is sometimes referred to as "birdnesting" and is built around the premise that the child or children remain in place within one home, while the parents rotate in and out of that household according to their custody schedule. This means that kids can have the security of having their room, their school supplies and all of the other accoutrements of childhood close at hand. That scenario is often absent when kids move between two different households.
Families approach birdnesting in different ways. In some cases, parents rotate in and out of the household where the child resides, and also share time in another property. This leaves each parent with time alone in the second home, as well as time alone with the kids. For others, sharing two residences (even at different times) is simply too much connection, and the better path is for both parties to secure their own housing on their "off" parenting days.
While birdnesting may not be a desirable option for many Arizona families, the concept does represent a shift toward a more expansive idea of what it means to put the needs of a shared child above those of the parents. Many parents are willing to take a wider view of how their child custody arrangements are helping or hindering their kids, and are committed to looking for solutions that work for everyone involved. Allowing a child to remain in place and having the parents come and go is just one way to look after the best interests of shared children.
Source: New York Post, "Is "birdnesting" the stupidest - or smartest - divorce trend yet?", Anna Davies, April 28, 2016