New style of post-divorce parenting catching on

Many Alabama residents will be among those throughout the nation who decide to end their marriages this year. Divorce is seldom without its challenges, even if communication between former spouses remains amicable through the process. If children are involved, emotions are usually intensified, and parents generally want to try to cooperate to preserve their best interests.

Based on the idea that less disruption is better when helping children adapt to new lifestyles after divorce, some parents are choosing a custodial arrangement called nesting. In this scenario, children continue to reside in the home they shared with both parents before the divorce. Parents then come and go on a rotating schedule, each living with the children for a time, then going back to a separate residence while the other parent comes to stay.

One woman who recently heard about such an arrangement said she wishes her parents had done something similar when they divorced in her youth. As it is, she recalls her younger sister often sobbing uncontrollably each time the children had to switch houses. She thinks things would have gone much better if the children could have stayed in their former family home with their parents coming and going in a nesting arrangement.

Family courts in Alabama and other states generally believe children should have as much time as possible with both parents after divorce. Many parents are able to negotiate their own parenting plans, which they submit to the court for approval. Anyone who wishes to discuss nesting as an option, or some other child custody arrangement, may request a consultation with a family law attorney for guidance.

Source: The New York Times, “After Divorce, Giving Our Kids Custody of the Home“, Beth Behrendt, May 30, 2017