We have noted in a few past blog posts that child custody outcomes in Illinois divorces and other decouplings nationally are far more creative than was generally the case even a few short years ago.
That is, the prototypical model of yesteryear featuring mom as having sole physical custody of the kids while dad resided elsewhere and had limited visitation rights is now but one variable among many. Shared custody these days is a commonplace. Parents willing to work hard and in concert on parenting plans often craft wonderfully tailored arrangements that truly benefit their children.
A relatively new variation on the theme is called “nesting.” One recent national media focus on the concept describes it quite simply. Nesting is when divorced parents “let their children stay in the same home while they take turns living in it.”
That means that when dad pops in, it’s not to visit, but, rather, to move in for a few days or perhaps a week or longer. Mom goes somewhere else during that time (to an apartment, perhaps, or her parents’ home or a friend’s house). When mom returns, dad leaves and the process simply reverses. It’s a parental back and forth, with the kids staying grounded in the family home.
Not everyone can – or would want to – do this, of course. For some couples, it’s a temporary arrangement pending a hopeful rise in home value prior to a sale. It is sometimes tried when the kids are especially young, with nesting sparing them from major dislocations caused by moving and a new environment.
And, of course, it costs some bucks (what with three different locales involved), so it is primarily a phenomenon reserved for the relatively well-heeled.
And, truly, it flat-out wouldn’t work under any circumstances for some exes, for whom divorce means divorce – no more negotiating, sharing of a common living space, arguing over house-linked cleaning and maintenance and so forth. Nesting won’t work, states the above article, “for couples who are not on the same page.”
An experienced family law attorney routinely works closely with clients to help them create parenting plans that truly are workable and that benefit all involved parties following divorce.