Skip to Content

The Bird’s Nest Approach to Co-Parenting


Divorce can be a challenging, confusing, and emotionally draining experience for everyone involved, especially when the spouses going their own ways have kids. In addition to legally untangling the marriage, parents have to decide (or let a judge decide for them) how their children will be cared for and where the kids will live, among other issues.

As experienced Grand Rapids divorce lawyers, we know that parents who make an effort to reach a mutually agreeable decision on some or all issues related to custody and parenting time can often find common ground. We help our clients explore a wide range of options, depending on their own unique circumstances and needs.

The “bird’s nest” approach is a creative co-parenting arrangement that is getting increased attention in Michigan and across the country. It is designed to take some of the strain off of the children and ensure stability in their daily lives. But, it also is not for everyone.

Here is how it works: The divorcing couple keeps the family home, where the children continue to live. The parents take turns moving in and out, according to a pre-planned schedule.

The benefits of the bird’s nest are clear. First, this approach is centered on child well-being in that it avoids the disruption that comes with shifting children from one parent to another in shared custody and visitation arrangements. It also sidesteps any disruption that comes with uprooting children from their family home so that it can be sold while their parents are getting divorced. 

Of course, a bird’s nest arrangement will only work in certain situations. First, the spouses have to be able to afford to maintain the family house and their own individual residences where they will stay half the year. Second, they also have to be willing to commit to sharing all of the responsibilities that come with keeping the family home. This can mean more ties to a former spouse than many people are comfortable with following a divorce.

The bird’s nest is just one example of the myriad different ways to resolve child custody and visitation issues after a divorce. It is important to explore these options with the help of a seasoned family law attorney.

Speak with a Grand Rapids Divorce Lawyer About Your Legal Options

At Kraayeveld Law, we help people efficiently untangle their marriages and resolve a wide range of related issues, like child custody, visitation, and support, as well as alimony and asset division. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a proud track record of successful results for the people we represent.

We understand the pain and stress that often comes with a child custody dispute or related legal issue. A Grand Rapids divorce lawyer at our firm will take the time to understand your unique needs and craft a legal strategy designed to achieve your specific goals.

Call 616-285-0808 or contact us online to make an appointment to speak with a Grand Rapids divorce lawyer about your situation.