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Understanding the concept of nesting

 Posted on September 18,2023 in Family Law


When parents separate or divorce, they have several custody arrangement options they can consider as they move forward in their lives. One of these arrangements is nesting, which provides a child-centered option for the family's living situation.

How does the nesting arrangement work?

When a family chooses the nesting arrangement, the parents decide to keep the children in the family home permanently while the parents move in and out depending on when their parenting schedule indicates they are the ones on duty. When a parent is off duty, they might stay somewhere else, such as in a rented apartment or with family or friends. In some situations, they might stay in the family home but in another area, such as an attic or basement apartment. Depending on the family's situation, this arrangement might be active for a brief time, such as during the duration of the divorce process. Some families may choose to continue the nesting arrangement for a limited time, such as until the children finish the school year. Others may choose this arrangement indefinitely.

What are some benefits of nesting?

As with other child custody arrangements, nesting has several options for the members of the family. These include:

  • Stability for the children as they do not have to move from one home to the other every few days
  • Space and time for each parent to work through their own emotions about the end of the marriage
  • An end to the marital conflicts between the parents as they have limited interactions through this setup

If you and your spouse decide nesting can work for your family, you will need a nesting parenting plan that clearly establishes the rules for the arrangement. You will want to include the custody schedule, information on how to share the upkeep of the home and the expenses to maintain the home. There should also be a plan in place that outlines what parents should do when they want to end the arrangement.

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