California estranged couples who are co-parenting their children will need to decide on a custody arrangement that works for them. One of the options they might consider is nesting. While nesting is not suitable for every family, it does provide a variety of benefits for families that can make it successful.
What is nesting?
Nesting is a child custody arrangement in co-parenting situations. During nesting, the children stay in the family home and the parents are the ones who travel and switch places. In some situations, the parents both stay in the home but in separate living spaces and they still switch when on-duty and off-duty. Nesting is usually a temporary agreement, often lasting through the separation and divorce, though in some cases, parents have maintained the nesting arrangement for years, until their children are fully grown. Nesting does not work for all families, particularly if there is a history of domestic violence, mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse or if the parents find it impossible to communicate.
The benefits of nesting
Nesting provides benefits for both the parents and the children. These include:
• Maintaining a stable home environment for the children
• Allowing the children more time to process and adapt to the changes divorce brings to their family
• Increasing children’s sense of security and protection by both their parents
• Providing time for the parents to consider their options and figure out what will be best for everyone to move forward
• Reducing conflict between the parents and allowing them to model coordination and communication for their children
For families to gain all benefits, the parents should be willing to work together, putting emotions aside as they raise their children. They should also have a detailed nesting plan that specifies as much as possible, including when each parent is responsible for the kids, how they will pay the house bills, and even anticipates problems and how they will resolve them.