A nesting agreement is a shared custody arrangement whereby children live in one house, and the parents alternate living in that house with the children. The rationale is that children should be provided with a stable and constant environment, while the marriage itself changes. These arrangements have always been somewhat common, at least on a temporary basis, while parents are going through a separation. However, it is becoming increasingly common for families to adopt these types of arrangements on a long-term basis.
While nesting has certain benefits and drawbacks, it is not right for all families. The benefits are that it can provide children with a sense of stability. Their friends, school, and routine will not change much at all. However, parents may find it difficult to move in and out—all the packing and unpacking can be very unsettling. It may also be more expensive. Instead of maintaining two modest homes, the family must maintain a “family size” mortgage for the house where the children reside, a second home for the “off-duty” parent, and a third home for the other “off-duty” parent. This type of set-up can also make it difficult if one of the parents begins a serious relationship with another person.
Setting-Up and Maintaining a Nesting Agreement
A nesting agreement is most successful when both parents are able to communicate respectfully. It will also work better if the parents both live and work close by. Each parent must feel comfortable turning the space over to the other parent. Having separate bedrooms in the children’s home can be beneficial if there is sufficient space.
An experienced divorce lawyer can help develop a nesting plan, also called a bird nest parenting plan. This is a modern type of co-parenting agreement. It is most effective if the plan can be written out in great detail, including specifics about finances, plans to respect each other’s privacy in the children’s home, and other details about how communication should be handled between the parents. The agreement should also spell out who is at the house and when.
There are many different ways to come up with a nesting plan, with some parents opting to alternate every week, while others alternate twice a week. The written nesting agreement should also spell out who is responsible for various household chores, who is responsible for which bills, and how the family will handle holidays. It should also specify what happens if one parent begins dating, such as should the new significant other be able to spend the night in the children’s home? All of these things should be addressed in writing to avoid conflict and confusion.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Represent Families to Establish Child Custody Arrangements
If you are divorced or considering divorce, an experienced Towson divorce lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help you explore the various options for child custody agreements. Our experienced team of mediators, negotiators, and litigators are ready to handle all of your family law needs. To schedule your free consultation today, call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online. With offices located in Hunt Valley and Towson, we proudly serve clients throughout Maryland including in Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County, and the communities of Baltimore, Towson, Essex, Columbia, Pikesville and Bel Air.