What is Nesting? Nesting (also known as ‘bird-nesting’) has become an increasingly popular way to co-parent following separation. A nesting arrangement involves the children remaining in one home (usually the marital family home) and the separated parents taking it in turns living with the children in that home, rather than the children moving between two separate homes. The concept gets its name from birds nesting, whereby they keep their chicks safe in a nest and take turns to fly in and out to care for them. Generally, this is a short-term option at the early stages of a separation and reserved for parents where there is a great deal of trust and co-operation. It can create a smoother transition period for the children and reduces the disruption to their lives, retaining routine and familiarity in the initial stages whilst coming to terms with and adapting to their parents’ separation.
Is nesting right for our family? No ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to families. For this to be a viable option, parents must be amicable as parental conflict is likely to unhinge any prospect of the arrangement working. Both parents must fully buy in to pursuing this as an option. Nesting is a very child-focussed concept and parents will need to consider all the implications of what this entails. For example – are there any concerns about privacy and personal belongings remaining at the family home. There also needs to be consideration of financial implications of nesting. For example, renting or buying an albeit smaller second property as well as retaining the family home may not be an option. Equally being able to stay with friends/relatives when not caring for the children at the family home may not be feasible.
I am interested in nesting, what should I do? We would always recommend speaking with a legal professional to help you decide if nesting is the right option for you and your family. Assuming you do wish to pursue this option, it is advisable for an agreement to be drawn up to set out clear ground rules and responsibilities from the beginning – from new partners staying over to who stocks the fridge.
If you have any questions please get in touch with Family Solicitor Simon Walker on 01225 750000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org