In the most general sense, a nesting arrangement is one where the children remain in the family home while the divorcing parents take turns living in the family home and in another location. In some of my previous blogs, I have covered the basics of nesting arrangements including what nesting actually means in the co-parenting sense and some common logistical considerations. It is an option that sometimes gains popularity in the media when used in celebrity divorces. When this happens, I often see an increase in clients wondering whether nesting is more of a fad for celebrities, or if the arrangement can actually work. Although every family is different, nesting can be beneficial in many situations.
The parents are able to communicate respectfully and positively in the process.
Divorce is a stressful and life-changing process regardless of the nature of the parents’ relationship. However, if divorcing parents are able to communicate in a respectful and cooperative manner, the process can produce a more durable and positive transition to a post-divorce co-parenting arrangement. In these situations, nesting arrangements can be very beneficial because in addition to allowing the children to essentially have “custody” of the family home, it also creates an environment where the parents are exhibiting a positive co-parenting relationship through the shared housing.
If there are multiple children in the family, a nesting arrangement may provide positive structure and consistency for both the parents and children. Rather than each parent finding separate residences that can appropriately accommodate space for the children, allowing the children to maintain their current home (including bedrooms, living spaces, etc.) may allow for a smoother co-parenting experience and post-divorce family life. A nesting arrangement may also allow each parent a reasonable transition period to look for the right residence.
One or both parents will live in a different area post-divorce.
In a nesting arrangement, the children’s daily schedules will often maintain more consistency. For example, travel times to and from school and activities will remain the same, even if one or both parents is residing in a different town than the family home. While there is normally a set time period for the nesting arrangement, allowing the children to maintain their regular schedules after divorce can help create a positive transition for both the children and parents.
Because a nesting arrangement requires at least two residences (and often three), the financial implications of such an arrangement is important for parents to consider. If the parents are in a situation in which the family home does not need to be sold immediately as part of the divorce process, nesting may be a viable solution for co-parenting. A nesting period may also allow the parents to consider whether the ultimately want to sell the family home or if one parent will remain in the home full-time at the conclusion of the nesting arrangement.
Nesting may provide additional benefits for families that are unique to their own specific circumstances and family dynamics. Your attorney can walk you through how a nesting arrangement may work after your divorce and the considerations you should keep in mind.