Pennsylvania parents who have settled on divorce may face a variety of challenges when making the transition to a new life. However, transitioning can be extra hard on children when custody is split. Because at least one parent will likely be moving out of the family residence, children may be uprooted suddenly and thrust into unfamiliar living conditions, thereby causing an upset in routine and security. In order to address these concerns, some divorcing or divorced parents are turning to an arrangement known as ‘birdnesting” for help. Birdnesting is a temporary arrangement where children remain in the family home while parents rotate time spent living there.

Birdnesting may be a healthy method of transitioning into a new life for children of all ages, but younger kids may benefit the most. This is because they typically take longer to adjust to drastic changes in family structures and living arrangements. Older children who desire more freedom may not need as long to adjust as they are already seeking flexibility in routine and scheduling.

One of the challenges to birdnesting is juggling living costs, but this can be mitigated by parents splitting the cost of a small apartment that is used as a separate residence in rotating shifts. This allows children to remain in the family home, allows parents to split custody and saves on housing costs associated with managing the purchase of a third residence.

No matter how a couple decides to transition a child after a divorce, the process of determining custody and visitation rights can be complex. Since living accommodations are just one part of the equation, many parents find that it pays to work with a family law attorney to iron out divorce and child custody details. A family law attorney can also be a resource when it comes to filing various motions and appeals if custody arrangements need to be changed in the future.