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Nesting as a form of child custody

10783408_S.jpgDivorce can be difficult for everyone involved. This includes the parents, the children and even the extended family. However, for most Missouri families, once the decision is made that the marriage cannot be saved, thoughts automatically turn to child custody decisions and how the divorce will affect the children. These decisions will have a lasting impact on the children and their relationships with their parents and extended family.

One current trend, nesting, is an attempt to provide stability for the children. With nesting, the children remain in a stable home environment and the parents are the ones who move in and out. In other words, when it is mom's time with the children, she lives in the house, and when it is dad's time with the children, he lives in the house. Like almost all child custody arrangements, nesting has its benefits and pitfalls.

Perhaps the primary benefit for nesting is the stability it provides for the children. Rather than have to pack up and move every other week, or whenever the child custody order dictates, they stay in their own beds, in their own rooms and have ready access to their favorite toys. The children don't have to remember to pack their night time sleep pal along with the books they need to finish their school projects.

However, nesting can be a financial problem for many Missouri families. Rather than going from one household to two in a divorce, the couple is essentially going from one household to three. Each parent will need somewhere to live when it is not their turn in the home with the child. Additionally, this sharing of property may cause problems with property division and alimony as they relate to taxes. Prior to making any final child custody decisions, each individual will want to discuss their plans and concerns with experienced legal counsel.

Source: The Washington Post, "Letting the kids stay in the home while the divorcing parents move in and out. Is it realistic?", Fiona Tapp, July 27, 2017

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