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The highs and lows of nesting after a divorce

On behalf of Shelly McKeon
Is nesting the right solution for your family? Discover how it works and get the details on the good and bad aspects of this form of parenting after a divorce.

One of the most complex situations coming out of a divorce is custody and visitation. During the divorce, the Maryland court will work with a family to iron out the details of a custody arrangement. The standard option is one parent has physical custody while the other parent has visitation with the children. However, there is a new idea, called nesting that is changing the game.

Nesting defined

According to the New York Post, nesting (also known as “birdnesting”) is when the children live in a family home and the parents rotate who lives in the home. Most often, parents will have an efficiency apartment where each live when not in the family home. In some cases, both parents have their own places to live when it is not their turn in the home.

There are many ways to nest. Sometimes parents will simply alternate. For other families, parents will both be in the home to do certain activities, such as eating meals, and go to their own place for the rest of the time.

Benefits of nesting

This type of custody and visitation arrangement can help children immensely with the transition after the divorce. They get to stay in their home while also being able to continue relationships with both parents. It is also something that can work if a couple wants to sell the family home, but has not found a buyer yet.

Nesting lets parents make the adjustments in the beginning and keeps that burden off the children as they get used to their parents no longer being married. It also enables parents to prioritize their children and put their needs first.

The downside of Nesting

While it may see like this is an ideal solution to custody and visitation, nesting can get complicated. If parents are not on good terms, it can lead to fighting and revisiting other issues that they had in the marriage. NBC News explains it can also confuse children who may have a tougher time understanding the changes in the family or think the arrangement means their parents will get back together.

This option also has to make financial sense for the family. Some families cannot afford to maintain the family home and keep a separate place or places for the parents to live.

The bottom line

In general, experts agree that nesting is not a long-term solution. For certain families, it can work for the initial transition, but is best kept to a three to six month period. Any longer can lead to issues with the children and make the ultimate adjustment more difficult. If you want to consider this type of arrangement, then discuss it with an attorney, such as those at The McKeon Law Firm.

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