Nesting may be a custody option

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2021 | Child Custody

During divorce, it is difficult to reduce conflict and avoid disruptions of the children’s lives. Nesting or bird nesting is an option that may ease the children’s transition.

Nesting option

Nesting is a recent child custody option where the children stay in the family home and their parents take turns living with them.  The parent who is not taking their turn living in the home may own or rent a separate residence or stay with a friend or relative.

Under some arrangements, both parents continue to live in the family home but have separate bedrooms. They keep relatively separate lives and have specific times that they are responsible for the children.

Advantages

Nesting may reduce post-marital housing costs which can be the largest expense for parents.  Parents can choose to keep a small and inexpensive space to rotate between or save even more money by staying with relatives and friends. Keeping the family home also eliminates the costs of duplicate furniture and houseware for the children.

Another advantage is providing time before selling the family home until things are not tumultuous. It allows a period for breaking the emotional attachment to the home.

This may help ease the emotional transition for children. Teenagers or older children may have difficulties relocating.

Staying in the family home allows children to keep their friendships, stay at the same school and maintain the same routine and habits. It may also avoid the social embarrassment that older children suffer during divorce. Nesting avoids moving their belongings between two homes.

Disadvantages

There may also be financial complications. During divorce, couples typically divide their assets, debt and the family home and move on.

Owning the home after divorce, however, entangles finances. Couples must decide how they will divide expenses such as utility bills, maintenance costs and food bills and taking tax deductions. A parent may not make needed repairs if the other parent intends to buy the home later.

Nesting may also complicate child support. It is difficult to calculate support when both parents are living in the same house.

Sharing the same place may be difficult for divorced parents and lead to arguments. They also have to make decisions on taking the master bedroom. Dating and overnight stays can cause arguments. Children may also have false hopes of reconciliation.

Planning

Having an amicable relationship and open communications are essential for the success of this arrangement.  A co-parenting plan and a schedule on which parent stays in the home are essential.

Parents must create a budget. They should also address sensitive issues such as dating.

Attorneys can assist parents create a custody plan. They can also represent their interests.

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