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Explore General Legal Issues

Safe in the Nest: What to Know About Nesting and Child Custody

by Ralph Griffin

Nesting is not just a job-shadowing technique. Divorcing parents with a desire to provide their children with security use a new way of looking at child custody. To learn more about the parenting plan known as nesting, read on.

What to Know About Parenting Plans

Child custody, visitation, and other child-centered issues are all encompassed in the term parenting plan. When it comes to divorces, parents are free to make decisions about these matters on their own — there should be no need to involve the court system. As long as the plans put before the family court judge take the best interest of the child into consideration, they are sure to be met with approval. When it comes to child custody, nesting is not the most popular.

Two other ways of dividing time with the child of the marriage tend to be chosen instead. Shared or 50/50 parenting is close to nesting with each parent having about one-half of a week, day, or month with the child. In some cases, visitation is not a part of this form of custody. The other popular custody choice is known, in some cases, as joint custody but is somewhat of a misnomer. With joint custody, one parent takes on the job of being the sole custodial parent and the other parent has visitation privileges.

Nesting With the Children

The nest, in this case, is a single residence and the child stays at this chosen location during all custodial periods. The parents, however, hop from that home to another home. For example, for two weeks parent A is with the child at the family home. Then parent A leaves the family home and parent B moves into the family home. When parent A is not with the child in the family home, they live elsewhere. That means not two but three homes are needed to support nesting.

What Else to Consider

This plan can be more expensive since both the family home and each parent's home has to be maintained. Some parents, to save money, actually share one parental home and each lives in it during their time "off." The back and forth of moving belongings can also create chaos for the parents, but they may choose this way rather than create chaos for their child. In many cases, this type of situation is better suited to younger children who crave the stability of a single place to reside.

To learn more about nesting, speak to your child custody attorney.