What Is Co-Parent Nesting? Is It Right For Your Family?
Selling the family home and forcing the kids to pack up their belongings, say goodbye to friends and start fresh at a new school can be very difficult. Children are also processing the loss of what they knew previously, and too much change can be hard to accept. Because of this, some parents are considering alternative living arrangements after divorce. One concept is called “nesting”. Instead of children shuffling between each parent’s residence multiple times a week, the parents exchange who is present in the family home during the week. Is Nesting something you should consider with your co-parent?
What are the Benefits?
Young children, toddlers and infants thrive on routine. Older children need routine too. Many children resent having to tote their backpack and overnight bag every few days between mom and dad’s house. Many co-parents must each buy two of everything for their child, toiletries in both homes, a bed, desk, wardrobe, toys and sports gear. Otherwise the child has to lug everything between mom and dad’s house every week. This is only further exacerbated as school is back in session and routines are jam packed. Many young children simply will not transition well between two homes on a repeated basis.
The alternative is co-parent nesting. Instead of asking the kids to pile in the car every few days for pick up and drop off, being sure to remember their homework, belongings, toys and clothes, the children are able to remain in the family home every day, in their own room with their belongings. This eliminates stress on the parents of purchasing duplicates of each item, shuffling between homes every other day, having to remember everything or being late for drop-off so the kids can get to school. It also gives co-parents an opportunity to communicate in person about the week’s schedule, what needs to be purchased and who pays for what. Nesting may significantly reduce stress for co-parents while maximizing the benefits for shared children.
Creating a stable, loving environment for your shared children is your number one priority. To the extent that you can cooperate and communicate with your co-parent, you should find a common goal that works for the benefit of your kids. If a nesting arrangement sounds appealing to you, and you are still in the process of finalizing a divorce, talk it over with your co-parent. You may not need to sell the family home but will have to determine who handles maintenance and upkeep and how monthly costs (like utilities, food, internet) are covered if you will both share the home while maintaining separate residences.
Many families recognize this is a financial stressor. They need the liquidity of profits from the sold family home to start fresh in their home or apartment, or the other spouse does not have the funds to pay the moving spouse their share of equity in the home. Splitting the cost of family home expenses, plus a living space for yourself, and managing the logistics of constantly rotating between locations can be difficult for working parents. Decide what is important to you and whether this alternative arrangement would be feasible, or too much of a hassle.
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys at Bubley & Bubley, P.A.
Nesting is a fairly new concept that has gained some traction in several U.S. states. Courts recognize the benefits of keeping the children under one roof, in the same school district, remaining in extracurricular activities and keeping friendships intact. However, nesting does require flexibility and collaboration on the part of co-parents. If nesting sounds appealing to you, contact our Tampa child custody attorneys at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. We can help you devise a strategy for splitting expenses and handling logistics with your co-parent as you transition to a new normal. Call today to schedule a consultation.