One custody option that is becoming more popular in Texas is nesting. Nesting allows your kids to continue living in the marital home while you and your former partner take turns living there. Instead of shuffling your children back and forth to two different homes, they can remain in one. You may be wondering if this type of arrangement can work for your situation. It is beneficial for some families who want to minimize their kids’ exposure to the number of changes that occur during their divorces. However, it is not ideal for all child custody arrangements.
Here are some things for you to consider about nesting.
It works best for co-parenting situations
If you plan to fight your ex-spouse for primary custody of your kids, nesting may not be a good fit for your family. Successful nesting requires you and the other parent to alternate between living in the marital home and a separate home. When the other parent is living at home with the kids, you are not. Essentially, you and your former spouse are taking turns parenting and living at home with your kids.
It requires sacrifice and commitment
If you and your children’s other parent are not willing to set aside personal feelings so you can communicate and work together, then you may need to consider other living arrangements until your divorce is finalized. You and your former partner should have processes in place for handling conflicts, and be willing to put your kids’ needs and interests first. There should also be respect for each other’s boundaries.
It requires a commingling of finances
If you and your partner shared finances during your marriage, nesting might provide you with extra time to sort things out. Even though you no longer want to remain in the marriage, nesting can provide you with the additional time you need to get your post-divorce finances, living arrangements and other affairs in order.
Keep in mind that even if your spouse agrees to a nesting arrangement, the courts have the final say. A judge will examine your circumstances and finances. He or she may also consider your children’s preferences. Ultimately, the courts will determine custody according to your children’s best interests.