What Are the Advantages of “Nesting” in Illinois Divorce Cases?
The reasons for divorce vary, from infidelity to lack of common interests to substance abuse and domestic violence. Regardless of why a couple decides to part ways, if they have children, the spouses will be somewhat connected for years to come whether they like it or not. Co-parenting can have its challenges, especially during these trying times. “Birdnesting” or “nesting” in a divorce or separation occurs when parents take turns staying in the family home. Rather than making the children travel back and forth between two households, the kids stay put and the parents trade off being in the home for their scheduled parenting time. This type of arrangement can help children cope with the divorce and alleviate some of the stress commonly associated with this major life transition.
In the Children’s Best Interests
According to Illinois divorce law, spouses are allowed to come up with their own agreements in regard to financial and child-related issues, such as spousal support (alimony), parental responsibilities (child custody), and parenting time (visitation). These issues must be officially documented in what is called a parenting plan. In this legally binding document, any decisions made are outlined for both parties to follow once the divorce is final.
A new trend in co-parenting is nesting, which can have its benefits if both parents are willing to do it. One of the main pros of this form of parenting after divorce is that the children can remain in the marital house, often the only home they have ever known. They do not have to move to a new residence or split time between the marital home and another home in which the non-custodial parent resides. In some cases, one parent will stay at the house one week, and then the other parent will stay there the next week, and so on. Alternatively, the schedule might be two weeks at a time. It can be changed according to what works best for everyone’s school and work schedules, too.
Some parents may share an apartment or stay with family or friends on their “off time.” In other scenarios, the marital home may be spacious enough to find separate living quarters for each parent. This allows for private time but with the convenience of all being under the same roof. For example, if one parent has to work late, and the other parent works from home, he or she may care for the kids instead of having to hire a babysitter. In addition, maintaining two households can be expensive, so this type of living arrangement can save both parents money that can be put toward other things, such as the children’s college savings. By providing a stable, secure environment for the kids, they may have an easier time adjusting to the fact their parents are no longer together. Nesting plans on their own are not substitutes for a parenting plan or parenting time schedule. Parents must determine and then specify who will be in the house on which days, including holidays. In addition, they should designate who is responsible for groceries, utilities, and repairs.
Contact a Mt. Prospect Family Law Attorney
The coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us in different ways. If you and your spouse are struggling in your relationship and are considering a legal separation or dissolving your union, seek professional legal counsel to protect your parental rights if you have children. At The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, we know these are trying times and how it can impact your co-parenting arrangements. Our accomplished Northwest Cook County divorce lawyer is prepared to handle your case from start to finish. Attorney Richardson will advocate on your behalf regardless if you choose to legally separate or obtain a divorce. To learn more, call us today at 847.873.6741 to schedule your free consultation.