How nesting changes the shared custody paradigm

Rhode Island parents who are contemplating a divorce have several options when it comes to raising their children. In many cases, a child will live with one parent during the week while living with the other on the weekend. While a specific custody arrangement may differ from that format, it still requires a child to live in two different homes.

Nesting is a new form of shared custody that sees the parents rotate in and out of the main family home. The child gets to stay in one house, which may help create a sense of stability and routine during a difficult time. Parents may also benefit because they can split the cost of a small apartment that they live in when they are not at home. This is generally less expensive than buying a separate home or renting an apartment on their own.

While nesting may be an effective way to share custody, it does have drawbacks. Parents need to be completely supportive of each other, which could lull a child into a false sense that mom and dad may get back together again. Furthermore, it may not work if one parent finds a new partner as the arrangement doesn't lend itself to privacy for the adults.

Generally, both parents are entitled to maintain a relationship with their children despite the end of a marriage. While a parent may negotiate the terms of a custody arrangement informally, it may be necessary to do so with the help of an attorney. Legal counsel may also be helpful in reviewing any agreement reached before it is approved by a judge. If a parent cannot reach an agreement through informal talks, a custody arrangement may be determined by the court.

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