Law Offices of Michael Gast
A Family Tradition of Representation Since 1950

What does a bird’s nest have to do with your divorce?

A new school year will soon begin in Maryland. If you’re currently navigating divorce, you may be anxious and worried about child custody arrangements and how your children will handle school work while adapting to their new lifestyle. If things are fairly amicable between you and your former spouse, the school year may progress without much difficulty. In fact, when you’re both willing to compromise and cooperate where necessary for the sake of your children, there may be options available to keep stress levels very low.

Have you heard of nesting in divorce? This is a fairly new trend designed to help children retain a sense of stability and routine while coming to terms with their parents’ divorce. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it may be an option if you’re able to work together with your children’s other parent and you want to minimize stress in their lives as you all adapt to no longer living together under one roof.

In a nesting situation, the kids keep the house

Although your entire family no longer resides together after divorce, if you agree to a nesting arrangement, your kids will still live in the house you shared as a family during your marriage. The following list includes basic information as to how nesting works, as well as potential pros and cons associated with the process:

  • Your children stay in the house full-time while you and your former spouse take turns coming to live with them.
  • You obviously need to have living arrangements elsewhere for the times when it’s not your turn to stay with your children.
  • To avoid awkwardness, some parents set ground rules, such as agreeing to maintain separate rooms where they stay when it’s their turn to live in the house.
  • General maintenance and upkeep on the home is typically the financial responsibility of both parents.
  • The court must approve a proposed nesting plan.
  • Parents should prepare for various inconveniences related to nesting arrangements, such as expenses associated with other living arrangements.

This custody style may benefit your children because they wouldn’t have to travel from house to house, which often creates stress, especially where keeping track of school supplies, homework, backpacks, etc. is concerned. Your children may suffer less emotional trauma related to divorce when they’re able to continue building memories in the house they lived in when you were married. Nesting isn’t foolproof against custody-related problems, however. Obstacles are typically easier to overcome if you have a support system in place where you can quickly turn for help.