When parents in Fairfax County divorce, they may assume that this means they will each reside separately, and their kids will spend some time living with one parent and the rest of the time living with the other parent. This constant back-and-forth can be hard on a child who is trying to process their parents’ divorce. Some parents may decide that an alternative child custody option may work better for them and their child: nesting.
What is nesting?
In a nesting arrangement it is the parents that go back and forth. The child remains in the family home. One parent will reside with the child in the family home during their custody period while the other parent resides in a separate apartment. Then the roles will switch, and the other parent will reside in the family home during their custody period and the first parent will reside in a separate apartment. This way it is the parents that go back and forth between one home, allowing the child to experience the stability of staying full-time in the environment they are used to.
How can we make nesting work?
Nesting is not for everyone. Parents must be on very good terms with one another despite their divorce if they want to try nesting. Agreements will need to be made on who will pay which household expenses and who will perform which chores around the family home. Parents need to be able to communicate effectively regarding the child’s day-to-day care. Parents may want to establish house rules that they agree the child should follow. Parents may also agree privately not to bring new partners into the family home.
Nesting is a novel child custody option
Nesting is a novel child custody option. Done right, it can provide the child with stability during a stressful time and can help the child adjust to their life post-divorce. However, it entails a good deal of cooperation between parents that simply may not be there after they divorce. For some parents in Fairfax County more traditional child custody arrangements may work better.