What is a Nesting Arrangement in Massachusetts?

family in home

When parents decide to go their separate ways, one of the biggest challenges they face is figuring out living arrangements for themselves and their children. Various co-parenting arrangements are possible under Massachusetts law. One arrangement that can help facilitate the transition to post-divorce life is nesting. A nesting arrangement allows children to stay in their family home while the separated parents alternate living in the marital home according to an agreed-upon schedule. Please continue reading to learn what a nesting agreement entails and how our knowledgeable Bristol County Child Custody Lawyers can help you determine whether this is the most suitable option for your family. 

How Does a Nesting Arrangement Work in Massachusetts?

Nesting, also known as bird-nesting, is a co-parenting arrangement in which children stay in the family home, and the separated parents move in and out of the marital home on a rotating basis. Under this arrangement, co-parents care for the children in the family home. Instead of in a traditional co-parenting relationship where each party constantly has to pick up and drop off their kids between two homes, you and your ex will be the ones who are splitting your time between two residences. The “off-duty” parent will stay elsewhere until their parenting time resumes.

Essentially, this arrangement is intended to keep children’s lives as undisrupted as possible during this time of significant change. This arrangement can be particularly beneficial, allowing children to maintain stability and continuity in their homes. Nesting arrangements are often used as a temporary measure in the early separation period as they can act as an interim arrangement while you make a formal living and shared parenting arrangements for the future. This co-parenting agreement is based on an agreed-upon schedule, where parents will either alternate weeks or switch twice a week. It’s imperative to ensure the schedule works for both parents.

When Does it Work?

While there are numerous benefits to this co-parenting arrangement, it’s not right for every family. For this arrangement to be successful, you and your ex must be able to communicate effectively. Nesting requires a significant amount of cooperation. If you and your ex are facing a high-conflict divorce, this arrangement may not be the best choice. In addition, it can be difficult for divorcing parties to share a space. Divorce is an emotionally challenging process, even under the best circumstances. If you’re not on good terms with your ex, you may not feel comfortable with the idea of seeing each other on a regular basis and sharing the same space. Nesting can be a cost-effective solution in some situations. However, it can also prove expensive if both parties stay in apartments, hotels, or have other short-term accommodations each week. This can financially drain both parties while they are “off-duty.” Therefore, this arrangement is more appropriate when the separation is amicable.

As you can see, parenting arrangements are not “one-size-fits-all.” Therefore, if you’re looking for the right co-parenting arrangement for your family, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted lawyer from The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C., who can help safeguard your child’s best interests.