child in front of home

Many children of divorced parents complain about packing a bag every weekend and lugging it back and forth from one parent’s house to the other’s. They might forget important homework, not pack enough clothes, or not have the right products at one of the houses. Traveling back and forth like this can cause stress and strain on children, but it is not the only option when considering co-parenting arrangements. One method that has become popular over the years is a nesting arrangement. A York County, PA family law attorney can help with any questions or concerns regarding your custody and co-parenting arrangement.

What’s a Nesting Arrangement?

A nesting arrangement, sometimes referred to as a bird nest approach, is a type of shared child arrangement. It is essentially the opposite of a standard co-parenting setup. After a couple decides to separate or divorce, their child or children continue living as they have been in the family home, while the parents bounce back and forth between residences. It is typically used as a short-term solution.

The parents can each find their own residence separate from the family home or they may choose to rent one residence to share. When one parent is staying at the family home taking care of the children, the other parent will be at the secondary residence. When it is time to switch off the kids are able to stay where they are and the parents rotate living arrangements. Some people advocate for nesting arrangements while others criticize the choice. There are both pros and cons, as with any co-parenting arrangement.

What Are the Advantages of a Nesting Arrangement?

Though many people harp on the logistics of a nesting arrangement it can be beneficial for some families. No one family is alike so whether or not it is a good fit will depend on your specific situation. Some advantages to its use are as follows.

  • It allows the child or children to maintain normalcy in the beginning stages of the new life change.
  • The children can remain in the same bedroom, school district, sports teams, etc. so their lives are not thrown so off balance.
  • If the parents rent a new place they might not have enough space especially if they have multiple children. Having to squeeze everyone into a small apartment could be a challenge.
  • You do not have to worry about selling your home right away. It can be a long and drawn-out process, so you can avoid additional stress while you are dealing with your divorce or separation.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Nesting Arrangement?

Of course, there are some disadvantages to using a nesting arrangement as well. They can include:

  • It can be costly to maintain payments for the family home and at least one additional apartment/home.
  • You do not have as much privacy as if you were living in an entirely different space. It can feel weird that your ex has access to your private life.
  • You may be unable to communicate and work with your ex depending on the nature of your relationship.
  • You and your ex might have different ideas about what is appropriate in terms of dating and bringing people around your house.