Nesting in Child Custody Cases: A Unique Parenting Time Plan

When parents divorce, their children’s well-being and comfort are often their top priorities—as they should be. Regardless of how you spin it or what approach you take, divorce can be traumatic for kids. Adjusting to two homes is especially challenging, as children may always feel like they are a visitor in their own home.

Nesting aims to solve many of the problems with conventional co-parenting arrangements. Learn more about nesting, how it works, and whether or not it’s the right option for you. To get started on your divorce case, call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-803-3500.

What is Nesting?

Nesting is a unique custody arrangement that allows the children of a divorce to remain in their marital home. Consider the standard shared custody arrangement: each parent has their own home, but the child is always going to one home or the other. They never have all of their belongings with them, and instead, have to make do with what they have at their current home.

Nesting solves these issues by letting children live in the home full-time. The children do not switch homes during custody switch-offs. Instead, the adults switch. The parents maintain homes outside the family home. During their custody time, they remain in the family home. When the other parent has custody, they live in the other home.

The Benefits of Nesting

Nesting has numerous benefits, which is why it has become so popular in recent years. These include:

  • Children enjoy some sense of normalcy. Divorce is a hard time for children, and anything you can do to make this time easier on them is beneficial. Staying in their home, not having to adjust to a new second home, and still seeing both parents are all massive benefits of nesting.
  • Children have all of their belongings. Kids of divorced parents will tell you how strange it feels to want a specific outfit or toy, only to remember it’s at their “other home.” This eliminates that feeling for kids and lets them have the same home they’ve always had.
  • Kids get time with both parents. Nesting ensures that both parents have a set schedule in and out of the home, which promotes a positive relationship between the children and parents.
  • Promotes a healthy co-parenting relationship. This type of arrangement obviously requires substantial cooperation and maturity, which lays the groundwork for productive co-parenting.
  • Allows children to stay at the same school and maintain their social circles. Any sense of normalcy you can give your children is good for their mental health. Nesting keeps them in their school district and lets them keep having playdates at home.

Drawbacks of Nesting

With all of these benefits, there are bound to be some downsides. They include:

  • Not a viable option in a highly contentious relationship. If parents are unable to have a conversation without it turning into a fight, there’s almost no chance they’ll be able to maintain a household together, even if it’s for the sake of the children. There’s always a risk that one parent will leave the house messy or poorly maintained after their parenting time just to spite the other parent, which exposes the kids to a negative environment.
  • Requires extraordinary cooperation. Both parents will have to work very hard to make nesting work. It takes a lot of maturity and a strong ability to do what is best for the children and put your own wishes aside. This isn’t possible in every divorce.
  • Parents may not have a sense of home. When parents choose nesting, they may be moving between homes fairly regularly. This can make them feel like they’re never quite at home, and it can also make dating very challenging.
  • Can be difficult to navigate financially. Not only do the parents have to pay the expenses at the family home, they also need to pay for the other home or homes. This means nesting is often only an option for wealthy families.

Discuss Your Options with Kirk Drennan Law

As you think about what you want from your divorce, make sure you have support from an experienced divorce attorney. Set up a time to talk to the team at Kirk Drennan Law now. Just call us at 205-803-3500 or send us a message online to get started.

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