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Hello, my name is Bo Luan. I am an associate at the Feldstein Family Law Group. In today’s video, I will be discussing the “nesting arrangement”.

Finding the right balance of parenting time can be very difficult. The nesting arrangement is not the right solution for everyone – nothing is – but in those cases where it works, it can work extremely well.

In a nesting arrangement, the children continue to reside in the matrimonial home. Each parent will have their parenting time with the children in the matrimonial home but will also maintain a different residence for when they are not having parenting time.

Instead of the children shuttling back and forth between the homes of each parent, it is the parents who move back and forth, taking turns in the “nest”.

So why do this? When is it appropriate?

When children are involved in a separation, the primary focus should be minimizing the conflict between the parents so that the children do not witness any ugliness. Another goal is maintaining the children’s routines, such that the children may attend the same school, have the same extra-curricular activities, and the same friends.

One issue that may take time to resolve is finding new residences for each parent after the separation; for instance, the matrimonial home may need to be sold and sometimes parents cannot afford to purchase appropriate residences to accommodate the children until the sale closes. However, they may have access to temporary residences (such as their own parents’ homes, or friends’ homes) which would work for themselves but not for the kids too.

In this situation, a nesting arrangement might work to keep the parents apart and minimize conflict while still keeping the children in a suitable home which they are accustomed to.

A nesting arrangement can also help level the playing field after a separation, especially if one parent is not receiving the same parenting time as the other parent. Additionally, if a client’s ultimate goal is to equally share the time with the children, where the children will go back and forth between the new homes of the parents, then a nesting arrangement will give parents a better understanding of what the children will eventually go through, and whether a shared parenting regime is in their best interests. The best benefit may be that it helps the children see that their parents can have a healthy relationship even after they separate.

Whether a client thinks a nesting arrangement is best for their children or not, I usually only recommend they enter into one for a short period of time, such as while the parents are waiting for the family home to sell. A long-term nesting arrangement can have significant downsides – for example, it may force the separated parents to retain ownership of the “nest” and this can have financial downsides.

For more information on nesting arrangements and other types of parenting schedules, please call us at 905-581-7222 to schedule a free initial in-office consultation.