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Nesting -- it's not just for birds anymore

Divorcing parents in Ohio usually worry about one issue far more than any other -- how they will handle their children after the marriage ends. From how much time a child will spend with each parent to who makes important life decisions, there are several matters that you and your ex will need to address.

But what about the family home? Most people opt for one of two choices. Either sell the home, split the profits and establish separate living arrangements, or have one person keep the house and the other move out. In both cases, your child would travel between your and your ex's home based on the schedule set out in our custody agreement. However, some families are opting to keep the children in the home full time and rotate the parents in and out instead.

What is nesting?

Nesting is a new form of co-parenting that focuses on some children's need to feel as rooted as possible. In this arrangement, your kids would stay in the family home year-round, maintaining local friendships and school enrollment.

When it is your time to have the kids, you would return to the family home while your ex left for their separate property. When it is your ex's time, you would hand the home and children over to him or her and head back to your own residence.

Can I really make this type of custody work?

This type of custody arrangement is certainly not for everyone. Unlike traditional situations that involve children traveling between their parents' homes, you will have to occupy a shared space with your ex, even if you never stay there at the same time. Additional considerations include:

  • Diminished privacy
  • Cost of maintaining multiple households
  • Shared household expenses
  • Emotional maturity of both parents
  • Civility of divorce

If your divorce is already gearing up to be an emotional rollercoaster, nesting might not be appropriate. However, if you and your ex can handle the process without sinking to emotional sabotage, then nesting could be an effective way to transition yourselves and your children to life post-divorce.

Nesting works -- sometimes

Some parents in Ohio find that nesting is the best possible option for their child custody needs. It simplifies matters for the children while also giving each parent their own personal space at their other household. Still, issues such as one parent remarrying or someone clinging too harshly to the past can put an expiration date on this type of arrangement.

In some cases, a quick, clean break is the best option during divorce. In others, maintaining some semblance of your past life might work out well for you, your children and your ex. You should never leave child custody up to gut feelings, though, so be certain that you fully understand the implications of any arrangement you establish.

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