Generally, child custody solutions simply split the time each parent has the children at their house. The simplest example is one parent having them for a week and then dropping them off with their ex for the following week. Naturally, this can be far more complex — with midweek visits and the like — but it’s all based around moving the children back and forth.
As you head toward a divorce yourself, you may be thinking that this just doesn’t sound ideal for the kids. They never really feel settled. They may feel like they don’t even have a “real” home. It can take time to get used to living in both places. They may miss their friends or have to go to a new school. Even minor issues can be distressing, such as forgetting favorite clothes or toys at the other house.
Is there a better option? For some couples, the best solution is known as nesting.
How nesting works
Nesting is a child-focused solution. You still share custody. You just do it in the same home.
Say you and your ex have the every-other-week schedule discussed above. The kids live in the family home. They never move. Instead, you move in on your week and then move out on your ex’s week.
There are a lot of potential complications, of course. You both have to essentially share that family home, which may be hard. You also need somewhere to live on the other weeks, when you don’t have custody. This could mean sharing a second house, but it could also mean each having a second location — for three total. For some, the cost is simply too high for this to be feasible.
If you can do it, though, it really gives your children the benefits you’ve been hoping for, and it disrupts their lives as little as possible. This can make it all worth it, even if there are challenges.
Exploring the options you have
Even if you decide that nesting is not going to work for you, hopefully it shows you how there are unique options. It is important to explore them all while deciding what legal steps to take.