Figuring out the best way to keep things normal for children after divorce is a challenge. Obviously there is going to be a big change in the family dynamic, but it may be possible to make it less traumatic for children by trying nesting. This is not an arrangement that is recognized under Michigan divorce law so it is a plan that parents have to negotiate either on their own, with the help of an attorney and/or through mediation.
In a nesting arrangement, instead of children being moved between their parent's homes, they stay in the family home. It is the parents who will then come and go when it is their turn to spend time with the children per the custody agreement. This can be hard on parents in a number of ways, but studies show that it benefits kids in the long run.
What makes nesting so difficult? The biggest issue is that property division may not be very straightforward. When a nesting plan is arranged, both parents generally keep the family home and share the possessions within the house. They are both responsible for paying the mortgage, maintenance and repairs. When money is involved, things can get a little hairy as it often causes problems.
Nesting takes a lot of compromise to work. It is not an easy arrangement on parents. At the end of the day, though, it is not about the parents. Rather, it is about what is best for their kids. Michigan residents who believe that this type of arrangement would benefit their family situation after divorce can seek assistance in creating a plan and putting it into action. A divorce law attorney can help with this.
Source: The New York Times, "After Divorce, Giving Our Kids Custody of the Home", Beth Behrendt, Accessed on June 13, 2017