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What you should know about nesting custody

Parents at the beginning of the divorce process have a lot to consider. Figuring out the optimal arrangements for the children is a major priority.

Custody plans do not work as a one-size-fits-all proposition. Rather, parents must take into account their financial and emotional circumstances, their children's ages and personalities, as well as the logistics of school attendance, extracurriculars and socialization.

How it works

Nesting custody is one type of arrangement becoming more common in Texas, as well as the rest of the nation. When nesting, the children stay in the marital home and the spouses take turns living with them there.

Benefits for children

A major benefit of this type of custody is the stability it creates for the children. Amid the unavoidable emotional upheaval of a divorce, the children do not also have to deal with moving. They are able to stay in their rooms, among their possessions, living next to their friends and attending the same school. Professionals rank order and stability as top needs for children going through their parents' divorce.

Potential complications

Nesting can place an added financial burden on parents, as each of them will need a separate place to live while also contributing to the upkeep of the marital home. Getting finances and future prospects in order beforehand can help people decide whether this arrangement is sustainable.

Successful nesting also requires the divorced parents to continue cooperating at a much closer level than other types of custody. Parents will need to be able to trust one another to share the responsibility for keeping the marital home as an emotionally secure space for the children.

Nesting will also not be on the table if one spouse plans to move away or has concerns about the other's fitness to parent the children safely.

Even if both parents reach a consensus, the judge still needs to approve the proposed custody arrangements, with the best interests of the children as guiding principle.

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