No matter how you divide up time sharing of your children when you get divorced or have a custody dispute, one thing is likely for certain: The child will have a room at both parents’ houses, and will go back and forth between the parents based on the timesharing and custody schedule.
What if that were reversed? What if it were the children that stayed in the same place, and the parents who went back and forth?
Enter the Nesting Agreement
It sounds counterintuitive, even silly, but this is actually a thing. It is called a nesting agreement, and although it is not traditional, and may not work for everyone, it could be an option for you.
One major benefit of a nesting agreement is stability for the kids. The kids live in the same place, keep the same room, and do not have to worry about moving their stuff from mom’s house to dad’s and then back. The kids keep their friends, and their schools.
Courts may be willing to allow a more equal time sharing agreement, where the parties agree to nest, knowing what a benefit it is to the kids.
There are Drawbacks
Of course, this does not work for everyone. Parents have to have the ability to spend part of their time in their home, and part of the time in whatever home the children are staying in. The parents can even agree to split the cost of an apartment, or a second home, and both of them stay in the apartment, when the other parent is in the “nest” (the home) with the kids during their time sharing.
Because both parents will be sharing the same house, albeit not at the same time, it does require flexibility and some amicability between the parents. The parents may feel it is harder to “move on” after a divorce if they are constantly going back and forth with their ex in the same home.
The parents must also be able to maintain both the home the kids are in financially, and have a place of their own, if they are not splitting an outside home.
The parents will have to endure some loss of privacy, as the home with the kids will not truly be either parent’s real home. That flexibility may include where the parents work, as the home where the kids are living will have to be accessible to both parents’ work. It may also include living with the other parent’s rules, as both parents will have to live in the home for some time.
If your ex spouse doesn’t want a religious symbol on the lawn or does not want cable television in the home, or wants leather couches instead of cloth, or any number of preferences, both parents will have to come to some agreement and to some extent, respect the other’s wishes.
Contact our New Jersey family law attorneys at The Law Office of Agnes Rybar LLC for help today in your custody and timesharing agreements.