Nesting Custody Arrangement: What is it and What are the Benefits?

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”


The post-divorce life is never easy, especially if you and your ex-spouse share children. Shuffling a child back and forth between two households is not only stressful for the kid but can also feel unmanageable and overwhelming for parents.

blackbirds-nest-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Child-Custody-Lawyers-300x225Also, visitation schedules can be a financial undertaking because parents need to purchase two sets of toys and clothing for their child, not to mention that splitting parental responsibilities can be logistically problematic at times.

Luckily, parents have come up with a solution. That solution is called a nesting custody arrangement, or “bird-nesting.” This relatively new type of child custody arrangement has become increasingly popular among divorced parents with shared custody due to its various benefits.


What is a Nesting Custody Arrangement?

Unlike in a regular custody arrangement, in which there are two homes, and the child is transported back and forth between the households, a nesting arrangement has a “nest” for the child where he or she lives all the time. When it is a mother or father’s turn to spend time with the child, that parent lives in the nest with the child.

This type of custody arrangement may not work for all divorced parents. After all, not all divorced parents can afford to buy a new apartment or home and turn it into a “nest” or keep the marital home for the purpose of using it as their child’s nest.

Divorced parents can either share the same bedroom or have their own rooms in the nest. The latter option would help avoid disputes about the cleanliness of the shared bedroom. However, the same rule would not apply to shared spaces within the nest. Thus, the divorced parents would have to work out a plan for keeping shared spaces clean.

For instance, divorced parents can create a plan that splits chores between the former spouses (e.g., one spouse is washing dishes and vacuuming, while the other is mowing the lawn and cleaning surfaces in the house).


Is a Nesting Custody Arrangement Right for You?

If you and your former spouse did not have arguments about the cleanliness of your marital home prior to the divorce, a nesting custody arrangement might work well for you. However, if this custody arrangement would create more disagreements and disputes than a traditional custody arrangement, bird-nesting would not be a good idea.

If you are considering a nesting custody arrangement following a divorce in North Carolina, talk to a Charlotte family law attorney to determine whether the arrangement would be right for you in your particular situation.


Financial Issues in a Nesting Custody Arrangement

The first financial issue that may arise when developing a nesting custody arrangement is regarding ownership of the nest. Typically, if divorced parents cannot reach consensus with respect to the nest ownership, they will most likely not be able to handle other financial issues.

However, bird-nesting has many benefits for both parents if the divorced couple is willing to find the middle ground to make their nesting custody arrangement work. A divorced parent who owns the nest can gain tax advantages.

Also, having a nesting custody arrangement can be beneficial from an economic standpoint, considering that each child only needs one bed, less clothing, and one set of toys, all of which will remain within the nest.

If you are considering a nesting custody arrangement following your divorce in North Carolina, speak with our Charlotte family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our lawyers will review your particular situation and determine whether you can benefit from creating a nesting custody arrangement. Get a phone or video consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.






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