It depends – Is a nesting arrangement a good idea? – Divorce

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In this edition of “It Depends,” Special Counsel Craig Turvey walks us through the pros and cons of having a parental nesting arrangement with your ex.


Welcome to this week’s edition of It Depends. We will talk about parental nesting agreements in family law cases.

What is nesting?

A nesting arrangement is where the focus is on the children and keeping them in the former marital home. So whereas in a normal separation it is the parents who move into separate residences and the children move back and forth between residences, with a nesting arrangement the children remain in the family home. Parents come in and out. So, it could be, for example, that the parents rent a one-bedroom unit nearby, and the parent who does not spend time with the children will move into that unit, while the parent who spends time with them will in the house with the children, then it will switch. When the time is right for the parents to spend time with the children, they move back into the house and the other parent moves into the unit or alternatively, depending on your support systems or financial situation, sometimes people , the parents are just going to have entirely separate residences. So there will actually be three. One where the children reside and each parent will have their own separate residence.

Is nesting a good idea?

It depends. If you have a very friendly relationship with the other parent, that can work. So if, for example, you, it’s really important to set very clear boundaries. So if the relationship is good, if you’re both on the same page in terms of, okay, well, before you leave the family home, for example, every weekend or whatever the arrangement , the parent will have stocked up the fridge or washed all the dishes or mopped the floors or anything of that sort of thing that you might think, Oh, well, that’s trivial. Well, it’s not because we often get complaints from customers who then say, well, I have a nesting arrangement. They left the apartment. It was a complete mess. I had to do everything, et cetera, et cetera. And the relationship deteriorates. So it only really works if you have a good relationship and you have very clear boundaries on how this is all going to work practically. Most of the time, however, people have broken up, emotions are running high, people are upset. It’s a stressful situation for everyone. So it is for many people, not a suitable arrangement. This causes more conflict and there needs to be a lot of communication between the parents. If you’re going to have a nesting arrangement, if you live in separate residences and the children come and go, it’s easier for the parents. Maybe not so much for kids, but at least you don’t need to have a guide and an agreement about setting boundaries and that kind of stuff.

If you are considering a nesting arrangement or would like to discuss the pros and cons of this, please contact me or one of Cooper Grace Ward’s other family attorneys.

© Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in Brisbane.

This publication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should seek advice specific to your situation and do not rely on this publication as legal advice. If you would like us to advise you on matters arising from this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.

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