Back to Top

Nesting as a Temporary Parenting Time Arrangement

 "Nesting" as a parenting time arrangement continues to be regularly used in divorce cases. Nesting is when the children of divorcing or divorced parents reside...

"Nesting" as a parenting time arrangement continues to be regularly used in divorce cases. Nesting is when the children of divorcing or divorced parents reside in one house at all times, and the parents move in and out of the house on a rotating basis. This typically works on an alternating week-on and week-off schedule. Therefore, the divorcing mom would live at the house with the children for one week, then move out, and the dad would live at the house with the children for one week.

Using this nesting approach allows the children to sleep in their own bed every night, maintain existing school schedules, and still have meaningful contact with both parents. This is most effective when the divorce is ongoing and the arrangements are still temporary. Nesting also helps both parents preserve their claim to shared custody. The amount of time it takes to complete the divorce case, at least in Michigan, can be significant given the six-month waiting period. Therefore, a nesting arrangement can continue for the better part of a year during a pending divorce case.

Already divorced parents are also using the nesting approach as described in the September 26, 2011 issue of TIME Magazine, in an article titled, "Latchkey Parents" written by Belinda Luscombe. This article describes using a nesting approach on a more long term basis, requiring the parents to maintain three residences - his home, her home, and the children's home - while alternating their individual residence in and out of the children's home on a week-on, week-off basis.

The use of nesting as a long term plan for divorced parents can seem troubling, especially once either parent is in a relationship or remarries someone else. However, during the pending divorce, it certainly has its place for parents who, for whatever reason, cannot continue to live together but desire a stable environment for the children.

Categories