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  • Writer's pictureLaurie M. Wasserman

Nesting – An Alternative Arrangement for Separated Parents

Have you and your spouse made the decision to separate but cannot decide who will leave the family home? One option some families consider is a nesting arrangement. Here is what you need to know about nesting:

What Is Nesting?

Nesting is a living arrangement where the children stay in the family home full time while the parents alternate residing in the home with them. For nesting to work, each parent must have another place to temporarily reside during the other parent’s custodial time. Nesting can be a short-term or a long-term solution depending on the family dynamics.

Why Nest?

Frequently when parents separate, the children must transfer between two different households. Nesting provides more stability for children since they never have to move. The children have their belongings in one place and the adults—as opposed to the children—come and go from the family home.

There are certain advantages to nesting. A nesting arrangement allows a quick physical separation, which may help if physical separation is needed for divorce grounds or if the current living situation is very contentious. Another advantage is that if the parents have financial constraints which prohibit them from supporting two separate households, this is a good temporary solution until each parent can establish his or her own residence.

What Are the Downsides to Nesting?

Nesting typically requires three households: the family home where the children stay, and a separate residence for each parent. Unless you can stay with family or friends during your off time, you may need to pay for a separate home in addition to the regular expenses of maintaining the family home. This can be expensive.

Aside from the financial considerations, nesting might mean you and your spouse must communicate more often. You will probably need to discuss the family home’s expenses, repairs, and general upkeep. And because you both live in the same home part-time, each of you will have belongings that stay at the family home. You will need to be able to respect each other’s personal property while the other is not there.

How Can You Mitigate the Downsides?

If you think nesting is right for your family, you can take certain actions that will help keep the peace. You and your spouse should communicate in writing and use a shared calendar for events that relate to the children and family home. To avoid confrontation, you might arrange transitions so that the other parent is not present when it is your turn to come back to the home. Each parent can also have his or her own dedicated space in the home that is off limits to the other parent where they can store their personal belongings. Finally, having a written agreement with the custody/nesting schedule as well as other rules of the house (i.e., housekeeping, third persons in the house, security cameras, etc.) in place will help resolve problems. An experienced family law attorney can draft a detailed agreement that anticipates nesting issues.

Wasserman Family Law can help you decide whether nesting is right for your family and, if so, work with you to create a nesting agreement. Contact us today at 410-842-1070.

If you have questions about divorce, please contact Laurie Wasserman at or 410-842-1070. The legal team at Wasserman Family Law is here to help guide and advocate for you.

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Disclaimer: Opinions and conclusions in these blog posts are solely those of the author unless otherwise indicated. The information contained in this blog is general in nature and is not offered and cannot be considered as legal advice for any particular situation. For legal advice, you should directly consult a lawyer to discuss the specific facts of your matter.

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