Nesting: an alternative to traditional child custody arrangements

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2021 | Custody |

Divorce can be difficult for children whose family life and environment has suddenly changed. Many parents want to help their child and believe their child should stay in the family home for stability’s sake. Traditionally, however, children travel back and forth between each parent’s home post-divorce. This constant upheaval can be difficult on a child. For this reason, some parents consider a less-traditional custody arrangement: nesting.

What is nesting?

Through nesting it is the parents who will travel back and forth from the family home to a separate apartment. This allows the child to stay in the family home full-time while still spending meaningful time with each parent. One parent will stay in the family home with the child during their agreed-upon parenting time, and the second parent will live in a separate apartment. Then the positions will switch, and the second parent will stay in the family home with the child during their agreed-upon parenting time, while the first parent stays in a separate apartment.

The pros of nesting

There are some benefits to nesting. Children benefit from the stability and comfort of staying in the family home they are familiar with, as well as staying in the same neighborhood and school they are used to. Parents can benefit from only needing to rent a small apartment, which could be a cost-saver post-divorce. Parents do not need to worry about selling the family home if market conditions aren’t right. And parents too can enjoy spending at least part of the time in the family home they have cultivated and loved.

The cons of nesting

Nesting requires a lot of cooperation. Parents must agree on who will pay the mortgage and bills and who will do which chores. There are also maintenance costs to consider. If a broken refrigerator or a new roof is needed, parents need to decide how to divide these costs because they no longer have a joint bank account to draw from. Parents will also need to agree on household rules for their child. If parents are not extremely amicable and cooperative with one another post-divorce, nesting will not work. Also, nesting does not give parents the clean break some need from one another so they grow and move on post-divorce.

Choose your child custody arrangements carefully

Ultimately, while nesting may work for some, others will find more traditional child custody arrangements are best for them. What is most important in the end is that the agreed-upon child custody arrangements meet the best interests of the child. Parents will want to consider all their child custody options, so they can make informed decisions.