It is always stressful for children when their parents get a divorce. For some children, the stability of continuing to reside in the family residence is very important One solution some parents are able to implement is “nesting.” Parents may do this for a few weeks or a few months. Others make it work for a few or more years.
What is Nesting?
The court encourages parents to work out their own parenting plan. This generally means the parents have joint legal custody and ideally , joint physical custody. If this is not possible, one parent will have sole physical custody and the other parent will have visitation under a timeshare plan.
Commonly, the parents will live in different homes and the children will go back and forth from one parent’s house to the other parent’s. A schedule is established setting out when each parent will care for the children.
When parents utilize nesting, the children stay in just one home and the parents are the ones who shuttle in and out of the home.
Benefits of Nesting
Benefits for children. Nesting is a benefit for children who require more stability or are having trouble adjusting to the divorce:
- Their established routines are not disrupted.
- They do not have to pack their clothes to transport back and forth or to try and choose which toys or other belongings to take.
- There is no fear of changing schools or leaving a school textbook in the wrong house.
Benefits for parents. A parent may be able to stay with family members during their time away from the main residence. If not, they can have a small apartment and not need to pay for a place with room enough for the children. This can save the family money.
Some couples are able to share the other residence with each other, which might save even more money. The parents simply switch places between two specific residences.
A variation of this type of nesting can be where the divorced parents share a duplex. This makes it easy for the kids to go back and forth without having to do a lot of packing.
Challenges of Nesting. Sharing space with your soon-to-ex spouse or co-parent, even if you are not in the same space at the same time, can be difficult. It is important that you work out details such as how grocery purchases, laundry, or having guests over to the family residence will be handled. Additionally, working on a communication play is also important.
If you and your spouse are considering a nesting agreement as part of your divorce, contact us at Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law. Through mediation or a collaborative divorce, we can help you put together a workable agreement. You can also call us at 650-642-3897.