For my first article of February, I thought I would look at a new movement that has travelled from the US to the UK, and it’s called “bird’s nest” co-parenting.

One of the issues that many parents have when they decide to separate is where the children should live, and how much time they should spend with each parent.  There is a lot of focus on whose house the children should spend most of their time in. With the Bird’s Nest concept, the idea is that there is only one house and it is the parents who move around rather than the children.  The children stay in the same home, i.e. the nest, and the parents move in and out of the house at an agreed pattern.  This gives the children much more stability and avoids the “suitcase kid” scenario which is seen all too often.

There are several ways it could work; each parent could share their time in the house, or alternatively, one parent could live there for the majority of the time but move out at certain times to allow the other parent to live there.

The possible negatives are the cost, if each parent is to have their own home as well, and it also relies heavily on the parents working together and trusting each other; something they may find difficult at first. If a parent disagrees with the way another parent is running the household in their absence this too could be difficult. It is also unlikely to be something that a Court would order, but rather be an arrangement that the parents would reach voluntarily.

It is still very fresh on the scene, but a promising step towards encouraging people to work together and put their children first.


If you would like any further information on this subject or any area of family law, please contact Bethan Foster on 01483 302000 or email guildford@rhw.co.uk