Assuming your mind doesn’t jump directly to birds, most people think of ‘nesting’ as a phase that expectant women go through at the end of their pregnancy, which compelled them to prepare the nursery and get ready for their baby’s arrival. But there’s actually a third meaning for this term, and it has nothing to do with birds or babies. In fact, it’s a type of custody agreement that divorcing parents can choose for their children, and it’s potentially a sound financial choice,
What is nesting?
Nesting is different to other custody agreements. It’s a type of co-parenting arrangement, but unlike the more traditional setting, where the children move back and forth between their parent’s homes, nesting involves the use of a single home where the children live permanently, and the parents come and go. Most nesting situations involve the parents keeping their home after they get divorced, and their children continue to live there. The parents each move out, or arrange a separate living situation for themselves, and then based on their custody agreement, they move back and forth between their former home where the children live, and their “other” home without the kids.
Will it work for every divorcing couple with kids?
Nope! Not at all. Nesting is a very specific arrangement that only works out if the divorcing couple has really good communication skills, and is able to put the best interests of their children first. And by that we mean both of them, not just one. In order for nesting to work, both parents have to be willing to work well together, be respectful of one another, and keep their kid’s needs at the forefront. As family law attorney Brandy Thompson says, “Nesting is rare. People REALLY have to be able to work together and communicate in order for a nesting arrangement to be successful.”
Why would this be a possible money saver for parents?
Nesting can be a money saver for parents, depending on how they choose to set up the arrangement. If a parent continues to split the costs of their former married home (where the kids live) and during their non-custody weeks they live with parents, friends, or a new partner, they can end up saving quite a bit of money. Not having a new mortgage to pay alone, or even a whole new apartment to pay rent on, can help keep post-divorce costs down. Of course, continuing to split the costs of their former household while simultaneously taking on the costs of a new house or apartment can mean a substantial increase in living expenses. So it all depends on how you go about figuring this out for yourself.
Can my divorce attorney help me figure out a nesting agreement?
Yes, your family law attorney can help you set this up if that’s what you want. But remember – it’s only a good idea in situations where you and your spouse are on the same page about what you want this to look like, and you have great communication skills. Nesting isn’t a possibility in high conflict divorces, or even in divorces where there is any animosity, bitterness, or an inability to be respectful of an ex spouse on both sides of the divorce. Here at The Kronzek Firm, our experienced divorce attorneys have helped many people from all over mid-Michigan with every aspect of their divorces, including some very creative custody arrangements. If you’re looking to end your marriage, and you’re considering your co-parenting options, call us at 866 766 5245 today. We’re here to help.