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An alternative to traditional joint custody

Divorcing Florida parents might want to share custody, but they might be concerned about how moving back and forth between homes might affect their children's sense of stability during an already-difficult time. One potential solution to this is an arrangement known as "nesting." Nesting allows children to remain in their home while the parents take turns living there with them.

Nesting has some disadvantages. Privacy for parents could be an issue, and the arrangement might no longer be practical once one has a new partner. There could be tension about housework, groceries and finances. While it can be good for children to see their parents cooperating, nesting might also mean that they struggle to accept that the divorce is final.

One couple rented a small apartment near their home since they could not afford to buy another residence and spent about 18 months nesting. They reported that although there were challenges, they felt the arrangement was ultimately beneficial for their children. When one of them found a new partner, they shifted to a traditional joint custody arrangement but said they thought their children had a better sense of stability. Furthermore, having to move between households themselves gave them a better understanding of what their children would face doing the same thing.

A parent may want to consult a child custody lawyer to discuss options for child custody. Traditional joint custody or a custody arrangement in which one parent has primary custody but the other has a significant amount of visitation time may work better in some situations. Courts usually feel that it is the best interests of the child that the child has contact with both parents, but there might be exceptions. For example, if a parent has been abusive, that parent may have no access or only supervised visitation.

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