What does Birdnest mean in the context of divorce?

A shared house for children whose parents are split up

Birdnest is a term that came into popularity in the 2010s. It’s used to describe a living situation where children of divorced parents stay in one house, while the parents rotate their time living there and in their own separate homes.

This approach to co-parenting was created to provide a sense of stability for the children involved in the family breakdown. It allows kids to keep the same house, neighborhood, and circle of friends, avoiding the need for them to shuttle between two different homes every week.

It’s called a birdnest because it’s similar to how some bird species take turns caring for their young in one nest, while the other parent goes off to feed or rest. The parents’ goal is to minimize the disruption to their children’s lives while they navigate their own separate living arrangements.

As divorce rates have risen, the concept of a birdnest has gained traction. More and more parents are recognizing the benefits of this arrangement in helping their children maintain a sense of normalcy during a difficult time.

Example for using ‘Birdnest’ in a conversation

Hey, I heard you and your ex are doing this thing called a birdnest for your kids. What’s that all about?

Yeah, it’s a way to make things easier for the kids during the divorce. They stay in one house while we take turns living there.

Oh, so they don’t have to keep switching homes all the time?

Exactly! It helps them maintain stability by living in the same familiar house and neighborhood.