In a divorce, children can struggle with moving between two homes as time is spent with both parents, but nesting provides an alternative that lets the children stay in the marital home while the parents alternate. In Illinois, this is an option for parents to consider as they work on the custody and living arrangements. It has the potential to lessen the stress children endure in the divorce process.
Nesting is a custody arrangement that allows some divorcing families to keep the children in a stable living environment. Instead of the child moving from one house to the next to get time with both parents, the child remains in the home, and the parents alternate staying with the child. Children, especially when young, benefit from having the same living environment and bedroom every night while still getting time with both parents. With the help of an experienced family law attorney and a well-drafted Parenting Agreement/Allocation Judgment, this can be a helpful custody arrangement.
Benefits of Nesting
When thoroughly planned and scheduled, nesting can be successful as a child custody arrangement, and it brings many benefits. The primary benefit of a nesting arrangement is the emotional stability for the child. Nesting can also be financially better, particularly if the parents agree to rent a small apartment or home for the non-custodial time. By sharing the cost of the mortgage on the primary residence and the rent on the secondary residence, the parents can save money.
Drawbacks of Nesting
Continuing to share a residence can be difficult for couples who did not divorce on amicable terms. Sharing residences in this way can also hamper the social life for some parents, making it difficult to meet new people and strike up new romantic relationships. The process of moving between houses is stressful for working adults, and a dual residence can prevent either adult from feeling as though he or she has a home. Finally, this type of agreement requires careful co-parenting to avoid fights and frustration.
Nesting is a choice made primarily for the benefit of the children. A family law attorney can help families considering this option to determine if it is the best choice for the family’s needs, and also provide the right help in setting up the divorce and custody documents. An experienced family law attorney can draft documents with built-in safeguards to help avoid conflict and increase the likelihood of a successful nesting arrangement.