Some Michigan parents might be looking for an alternative parenting time plan than the arrangements commonly used. An approach that might appeal to some families is nesting, an arrangement where the children remain in the family home and the parents take turns living there during their own parenting time.
How nesting works
While nesting arrangements evolve to fit the needs of each family, the basic idea is that parents split their time with their children to meet the division established in their child custody agreement, but instead of the children moving back and forth between the parents’ individual homes, the parents are the ones doing the moving. When parents are not exercising their parenting time, they go live at another place. For some parents, this means their own individual homes. For others, it might mean a second home they also share even if they are never there at the same time.
Benefits for nesting for the whole family
Nesting provides many benefits for the whole family. Parents who are concerned about the disruptive effects of divorce on their children might wish to explore this option particularly because of these benefits, which include:
• Providing children with stability, consistency, and continuity in their routines and habits
• Having one home base for the children with all personal items, toys, clothes, and books
• Having a more organized life where items are not left behind in the other home
Nesting might not work for all families depending on their needs and finances. However, if parents have an amicable relationship and can have some flexibility in the way they schedule their parenting time, nesting might also be beneficial for the parents’ needs as it provides a secure, stable home for the children while allowing parents a private space where they can also explore their life independent from the family.