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Can a ‘nesting’ Arrangement Work for My Family Post-Divorce?

Judith Trentman Wilson, Attorney at Law, P.C. Sept. 24, 2020

Parents who are in the process of getting a divorce are naturally concerned about how their split will affect their child. With all the upheaval that divorce brings to a child’s young life, parents may want to do what they can to help their child cope with these changes. One child custody option that may work for some families in the Belleville area is “nesting.”

What Is “nesting”?

In traditional child custody arrangements, the child will travel back and forth between each parent’s home during that parent’s allotted child custody and visitation periods. However, in a nesting arrangement the child stays in the family home, and it is the parents who rotate between living with their child in the family home during their allotted child custody and visitation periods, and then residing in a separate apartment the rest of the time.

Is “nesting” Right for Me?

Nesting allows the child to experience the stability of staying in the home they are familiar with and under their parent’s care, even if their parents are not together. For some families, this is an attractive option. However, nesting requires a certain amount of cooperation, communication and commitment.

First, parents will need to determine who will be responsible for what costs and chores in the family home. For example, who will pay the mortgage or do the dishes? In addition, parents will have to be able to communicate respectively with one another regarding the child’s care and daily activities. Finally, nesting ties parents together at a time when they may want to put some distance between one another instead.

For Some, “nesting” Is Worth Considering

If parents can reach a detailed agreement on how they can make nesting work, both financially and on a cooperative level, it can be a creative way to help a child cope with divorce in a familiar environment. However, if you are not on good terms with your ex or if you simply need your space, you may want to consider more traditional child custody and visitation options instead.