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What is a 'Nesting' arrangement?

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What is a 'Nesting' arrangement?

A ‘nesting’ arrangement is a type of shared care arrangement in respect of children, after parents have separated. With nesting, the children stay in the family home and the parents move around them, rather than the children having to visit different homes. The latter is the far more common mode of shared care that parents currently use, however, there has been recent increase in public awareness of alternative methods, like nesting. An example of nesting was illustrated in the last series of the television series ‘The Split’, where a family had such an arrangement. The children remained living in the former matrimonial home with one of the parents, while the other parent moved out, but returned to the home to spend time with the children. During such a time, the resident parent would vacate the home.

It is, of course, the case that such an arrangement can only be successful where the family dynamic is amicable and co-operative. If you’ve recently separated or divorced, communication may be strained, and it may be hard to move past the issues which have contributed to the breakdown of your relationship. Therefore, nesting may be an arrangement that is not considered at the time of separation and comes into place after a cooling off period. Any high conflict relationships or those where  there have been allegations of domestic abuse of any kind, may  not be suitable or appropriate for nesting.

Nesting may not be a long-term or practical solution for all families, even where there is no animosity. For example, it may not be practically appropriate in situations where there are financial proceedings in respect of the separation, such as if it were required that the family home be sold for the proceeds to be split, there would be no option but for the children to move residence. However, where nesting is appropriate, it can provide children with a stable and consistent base, which minimises the amount of change that they must deal with in the process of their parents’ separation.

If you are thinking nesting could work for your family and you wish to consider entering into a nesting arrangement, it would be advisable to record the agreed terms in writing as a point of reference and to seek independent legal advice. If you need assistance or would like further advice on this article, please do not hesitate to contact Johnson Astills to discuss your queries with one of the specialists in our Family Law Department.