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Is nesting a practical way to share custody in a divorce?

If you haven't heard of the term nesting, you may not understand this somewhat unusual trend in custody and divorces. Nesting is basically the practice of allowing the children to stay in the family home while the parents transition in and out of the space. Unlike traditional custody arrangements, where children move between two homes, nesting can minimize the impact of divorce on the daily lives of the children involved.

There are many factors to consider, such as the expense of maintaining not only the family home but the individual residences of each parent. The children may still find the situation stressful, and nesting can create some unique hurdles and complications for your family. However, for some people, it may be a workable solution to child custody in a divorce. Not only does it address visitation, it removes contention over the home from the equation.

Nesting can prove to be complicated and expensive

There are different forms of nesting that may work for people, depending on their current situations. Some parents alternate custody every other day, while others opt to trade off weekly or even monthly. These arrangements facilitate strong bonds between the children and both parents, and minimize disruption to the daily lives of the children. Nesting also helps keep the parents' lives separate while allowing the children to see both parents and remain in the family home. Costs and the amount of work involved may preclude this version of nesting for most families.

Some couples nest for only a set period of time. Perhaps one spouse wants to go back to school for a year or two to finish a degree and ensure a better income after the divorce. The couple could agree to nesting terms that last as long as the schooling does. Not only does this allow the children to slowly acclimate to the divorce, it provides a final solution that does not require the ongoing maintenance of three separate households.

Nesting plans should not be the only solution in your divorce

While it's admirable to want to keep things as normal and stable as possible for your children, it's also important for you to plan for the worst case scenario. It may turn out that you and your spouse simply can't continue to live together after the divorce. Old tensions may flare up or new complications, like dating, can cause fights and tension.

You should take the time to outline what steps your family will take if nesting does not work. That way, you have a plan in place and won't have to fight for a solution that works for everyone. Discuss the possession or sale of your home, as well as how you will handle child custody if nesting fails. Failing to do so ahead of time could leave your family in a difficult situation. If you're considering nesting as a solution in your divorce, you need to carefully plan.

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