Emerging child custody arrangement: kids stay put, parents move in and out

By November 10, 2011Child Custody

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Thursday, November 10, 2011

It can be difficult to find child custody arrangements in which everyone, including mom, dad and the kids, are all happy. But St. Louis families going through divorce do work out  agreements that enable all the parties to carry on with their lives and sustain the relationships important to them.

One child custody arrangement that’s becoming increasingly popular, called “nesting,” was recently outlined in a magazine article. It involves the children staying put in the family home, with the parents moving in and out, rotating custody of the kids every few days.

Mom might be there with the kids for four days, and then she moves out and dad takes over for the next four. Then he moves out and the pattern repeats itself. The whole time, the kids stay right there in the home.

Experts say parents who use this method are trying hard to minimize the impact of divorce on their children. In some cases, the arrangement comes about because the parties can’t afford to sell the house, or neither one can afford to keep the residence entirely on their own.

In one case described in the article, the mother found house-sitting jobs and stayed with friends when she wasn’t with her children. The father stayed at his new girlfriend’s house.

The advantage of the arrangement, the parents said, was that their children didn’t have to be shuttled back and forth between homes.

“I didn’t think my kids could deal with the stress of two different houses,” the mother said.

An upside to the arrangement was that the kids wound up seeing more of their father after the divorce than they had before the split.

“He reconnected with them,” his ex-wife said.

But the arrangement wasn’t without its downsides: she said she walked into the home more than once to find that her ex had put new furniture into the place; pieces she’d had no say in choosing.

There were also occasional spats over laundry duties and grocery bills, she said.

Would it work for all couples? Of course not. But it might be a viable option for some. Talk to an experienced family law attorney for more help in finding workable solutions to your child custody disputes.

Source: Time: “Latchkey Parents,” Belinda Luscombe, Sept. 28, 2011