“Nesting” is a child custody option that many parents in Grand Rapids going through a divorce have never heard of. In a nesting arrangement the child stays put in the family home and the parents take turns living with the child during their custody period and living in a separate apartment when it is not their custody period. What does it take for parents to successfully ‘nest’ with their child and one another?
Keep new partners out of the nesting home
One aspect to nesting that needs to be addressed is that, as time moves on, both parents may begin dating again. If parents are nesting post-divorce, they need to agree on how to handle new relationships. It is often in their best interests and the best interests of the child to not allow any new partners in the nesting home. This can prevent an ex from being forced to face this new relationship in a tangible way and it can help the child process their parents’ dating post-divorce in a safe way.
Agree on chores and expenses
There are a lot of expenses that come with owning a home. The mortgage must be paid as must utilities, repairs, insurance and taxes. Nesting parents need a formal agreement on who will be responsible for what expenses. In addition, there are basic chores that must be attended to in order to keep the home clean and inviting. Nesting parents also need to agree on who will do which chores and when. This can avoid conflict down the road.
Have an out should nesting fail
While parents may have the best of intentions when agreeing to a nesting plan, it is important to recognize that sometimes such plans simply do not work. There should be an escape clause in the plan that dictates if nesting is not working the parents will mediate the conflict and come to a different solution regarding child custody.
Explore all your child custody options
It is said that nesting benefits the child by providing stability during a difficult time. While this may be true, it takes a lot of cooperation for parents to make nesting work. Parents in Michigan going through a divorce will want to explore all their child custody options so they can find one that is in the best interest of their child.