Child custody: How does nesting work?

You want to set up a child custody schedule that is simple for your children. You’re not as worried about how it impacts you. Even if it’s more work, you just want something that helps them feel comfortable.

In your research, you may have heard of something called nesting or birdnesting. How does this work and could it be the right choice for you?

The family home becomes the nest

The simplest way to think of it is by considering the family home to be the central nest. This is where your family lives, even if you and your ex are no longer together. That home base doesn’t change.

When you have custody, you are the parent who enters the “nest” and lives with your children. When your ex has custody, you leave temporarily and they move in. Either way, one of you always lives with the children in that home and they never have to move at all.

The benefits for the kids can be tremendous. They feel more settled and content. They don’t have a favorite home — or a least favorite. They get to stay in the same school. If they have friends in the neighborhood, they don’t have to leave them. You also cut out issues where children forget clothes, books, toys and school supplies at the other parent’s house — a common issue with traditional custody plans where the children move back and forth.

Will it work for you?

Not everyone can do this because it requires owning multiple homes and staying in close contact with your ex. If you think it’s right for your family, though, you need to know how to set up this unique custody plan.