“Nesting” Custody Arrangement

Every divorce is unique and presents particular issues. Just as no two
divorces are alike, no two children are alike. Parents often need to get
creative when coming up with parenting schedules for their children. Customized
visitation schedules make it so parents can carefully tailor custody and
visitation provisions to suit the particular needs and preferences of
their children. “Nesting Arrangement” or “Birdnesting”
is a particular type of custody arrangement that divorcing parents may
want to consider.

A nesting custody arrangement means that instead of a child being moved
back and forth between two houses for custody exchanges, the child remains
in the same home and the parents are the ones who are switching. In other
words, the parents will stay in the residence only during their visitation
time. Then the parent who does not have visitation scheduled will leave
the residence and stay somewhere else while the other parent stays with
the child. The large and obvious advantage to this arrangement is it provides
the maximum amount of stability possible for the child. Even though the
parents have to shuffle in and out, the child’s environment remains
the same from day to day. Children thrive with stability, and so this
type of arrangement can really help children keep a sense of stability
during an otherwise chaotic time. Certain children with special needs
can also really benefit from the arrangement, as stability for them can
be even more vital.

The arrangement can have a definite drawback, however. The arrangement
requires the parents to continue to share a home, even if they are not
staying there at the same time. Especially where the home does not have
enough bedrooms for the parents to each have their own room, this type
of custody arrangement would require that the parents share a room. Parents
who have a particularly acrimonious divorce or are uncomfortable continuing
to share space with their former spouse should consider a different custodial
arrangement. The other drawback is financial. In theory, this arrangement
provides for three separate homes: the home where the child lives in addition
to the home that each spouse goes to when he or she is not enjoying visitation
with the child. This can be too expensive for most budgets to bear, and
so spouses need to consider their budgetary constraints if they want to
have a nesting custody arrangement.

We have experience helping our clients find creative solutions for their
custody disputes. Contact us today at (732) 529-6937 to talk about your
children and what solutions we can create for your case.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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