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New Trend In Custody: Nesting, Sharing A Single Home


The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a new trend in custody arrangements which is gaining ground throughout the country. Parents who separate sometimes jointly maintain the marital home, have the children live in it, but rotate their scheduled visitation with the children at the home. This allows the children to remain in their home without disruption to the children caused by transporting them and scheduling conflicts. Typically it can provide greater stability for children following divorce.

Obviously this type of custodial arrangement (often called “nesting”) takes a high degree of cooperation and communication. There is no exact format for nesting and is as varied as the parents and their post-divorce circumstances. For instance, nesting usually has the children simply remain in the marital domicile while the parents move out. Sometimes the parties nest during separation but before the divorce is final as a trial run. In many cases, nesting allows for the father to have more involvement with his children than in typical divorce cases. For instance, In others, the parents actually purchase or rent a new home or duplex together

It must be kept in mind that courts are loath to impose such arrangements. In McIntyre Tate’s experience, we have not seen Rhode Island Family Court judges issue custody and placement “nesting” decrees. However judges will enforce such a decree if the parties arrive at it on their own through negotiations or mediation. While this type of arrangement is not for everyone, it is certainly should be considered in the right circumstances. Obviously in cases of domestic abuse or violence it would be entirely inappropriate

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