Many couples will repeatedly try to save their marriage before ultimately deciding to divorce. This is particularly true of couples who have kids.
According to a recent study, parents seem willing to even compromise their own comfort to ensure they protect their kids from the impact of a divorce as much as they can. That's one of the reasons more of them are choosing a "nesting" custodial agreement than ever before.
In case you're unfamiliar with the nesting approach, it involves the children remaining in their family home. The child's parents are the ones that come and go as per the custody schedule.
On a practical level, this avoids the kids from needing separate sets of toys. It also keeps the kids from having to constantly be ushered between locations and having to adapt to new environments.
While this approach to parenting may go a long ways in helping protect the emotional well-being of the child, experts note that it can have the opposite effect on the adults involved. Additionally, it can be a financially imprudent choice as well.
As for the financial aspect of things, courts may see this type of agreement as indicating that they're the exes haven't truly separated from one another. This could delay the judge in finalizing the divorce or could mean that an ex has a right to lay claim to property attained after the nesting agreement starts. It could also impact awards of spousal support.
From a mental health perspective, while this approach to parenting may seem to be in the best interest of the child, it's not. Child development experts argue that sheltering kids from having to fully go through the grieving process of the demise of their parents' relationship is counterproductive. They argue that, in working through attachment issues and traumatic situations, it can make them more resilient down the road.
Nesting has the potential to derail parents from undergoing their own grieving process and moving on with their own lives as well. Furthermore, when a child witnesses their own parent grieving and then overcoming it, it sets a good example for what they can accomplish themselves.
If you're separated from your child's other parent and you're looking to craft a custody agreement that works best for your family, then a Fort Myers, Florida, family law attorney may be able to help you do just that.
Source: Herald-Tribune, "Parenting: Nesting may not cushion kids from a divorce," Fiona Tapp, accessed Aug. 31, 2017