Separated partners usually want a clean break. Separate bank accounts, separate houses and separate lives. However, when children are involved and cash flow is tight, that may not be the reality for many people.

In nearly all cases, one of the separated parties will have to leave the family home and set up another house. If both parties are jointly caring for the children, then the person setting up the new home must ensure that the house is suitable for children.

This means that for many people living apart in different locations after separation is not always financially feasible. Not only will the person leaving the family home have to purchase additional bedroom furniture for the children and other items to cater to the children’s needs, there are also additional expenses with the rent/mortgage, rates, insurance and other outgoings that will need to be considered.

As a result, we saw the bird nesting arrangement become an increasingly popular option for separated parents.

Essentially, it involves the children staying in the family home. The parents move in and out from the family home depending upon their care schedule. Parents usually share the outgoings for the family home during this time. Parents will need to plan in advance as to the care arrangements to ensure no disputes arise.

This arrangement works best in the short term (3 to 6 months). Allowing enough time for the parent leaving the family home to set themselves up, make appropriate arrangements or await a Family Court direction.

If this sounds like an option you wish to further explore, please contact us on 09 309 4647 or at