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The pros and cons of a child custody nesting arrangement

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2018 | Family Law

Some Arizona parents who are getting a divorce might have heard about a practice called nesting. This involves the children remaining in one home while parents take turns living there with them. Nesting can help children adjust to the divorce, but it also requires a high level of cooperation between parents. Furthermore, it is important for children to understand that the arrangement does not mean parents will be getting back together.

Nesting is often more successful if the arrangement is temporary. For example, parents may plan to use this arrangement until a lease runs out or until they are able to sell a home. It may also be important for both parents to have a place of their own to retreat to when they are not in the home. A factor in one nesting arrangement that broke down was that while the father was able to go to his parent’s house and have his own space when he was not in the shared home, the mother had to sleep on her sister’s couch. There were also issues with the parents’ schedules and the condition the house was left in.

Parents should make a plan for how expenses will be handled and how long the arrangement will last. They should also make an agreement about rules for behavior in the home.

For parents who cannot create a nesting arrangement because of the cost or because the divorce is too contentious, there are a number of other arrangements that may be beneficial for children. Alternating weeks or weekdays may work. Generally, courts encourage time with both parents for the child unless there is a serious issue such as domestic violence. If this is the case, a parent might want to discuss with an attorney how to limit the other parent’s access to the child.