One of the options available to divorcing parents in West Virginia regarding child custody is a nesting arrangement. This custody structure has the children staying in the family home and the parents taking turns with them depending on their parenting time. While there are a lot of benefits associated with nesting, there are also some drawbacks. Parents must be aware of these drawbacks and how to avoid them so that the whole family can enjoy the benefits.
Drawbacks of nesting
There are four main drawbacks to nesting that can affect the success of the arrangement. These include:
- Miscommunication between the parents about the children, which can include parents leaving out important information
- Continuing conflict between the parents, which can affect the children emotionally
- Parents prematurely introducing the children to new significant others in the family home
- Parents taking advantage of the nesting arrangement to spy on the other parent, take documents needed for the divorce process or take items from the home before the divorce process has been finalized
How to avoid the drawbacks
While these drawbacks can threaten the child custody arrangement when parents are aware they can be proactive and plan ways to avoid the drawbacks. Some of these ways include:
- Creating a parenting plan focused on nesting with specific provisions that anticipate as many possible conflicts as possible and provides ways to resolve them
- Establishing alternative ways of communication, such as through text, email or family apps, that minimize contact and help prevent additional issues between the parents
- Seek emotional support for the transition such as with a family therapist as well as family and friends
- Choose mediation to resolve your divorce issues
Nesting might not work for all families. Parents who cannot find ways to communicate civilly and find themselves in constant conflict might need to choose a different custody arrangement. However, parents who can overcome the challenges can enjoy the benefits.