Bird's Nest Custody or "Nesting" / by Cassandra Hearn

Bird’s Nest Custody, or Nesting.jpg

Every family and every child is unique. As a result, when a divorce or separation happens, the parents must work hard to make sure that any custody order is tailor-made to the particular needs of their children. The children’s ages, personalities, school schedule, extra-curricular activities, and a variety of other variables must be taken into account when creating such a tailor-made schedule. Parents are not bound to a “typical” visitation or custody schedule. Some parents are turning to increasingly more creative solutions when making a custody arrangement that best benefits their children. One option is known as “bird’s nest custody” or “nesting.”

In a traditional custody order, the parents have two separate households and the child goes back and forth between the two homes. In a nesting custody order, the child resides in the same home and the parents are the ones who go back and forth. In other words, when it is time for the custody exchange, the parent who has been staying with the child leaves and the other parent then stays in the home for the duration of his or her time with the child.

There are advantages and disadvantages to such a custody arrangement. The primary benefit is that it provides a huge amount of stability for the children. The child stays in the same home with the same schedule all the time instead of having to readjust to a different household every few days or so. The child can continue operating on the exact same schedule at all times, which is clearly a large benefit. A big disadvantage is that it can be much more expensive for the parents to have this type of arrangement. When, for example, it is not the mother’s turn to reside in the same home with the child, she will have to live somewhere else during the father’s parenting time. This means mother may have to pay for a whole separate apartment or home in addition to the costs associated with the home where the child lives. Supporting a total of three households between two parents can be financially difficult or even impossible.

Before considering whether you want to commit to a nesting custody agreement, you should carefully consider how well you get along and communicate with the other parent. Nesting custody necessarily means you are continuing to share a space with your former partner, which typically will not work well if you are unable to effectively communicate.

We have experience in helping our clients craft individualized custody plans. Call us today at 619-800-0384 for a consultation to talk about your children and your future.