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Co-parenting and nesting

Handling the business of parenting with an ex-spouse can be difficult, especially if the divorce was contentious. The children also may be affected emotionally and physically by the divorce. However, divorced parents in Massachusetts should know that their children may benefit from a relatively new form of co-parenting called nesting.

Courts have been leaning towards awarding joint physical custody, which entails having the children move between the homes of their parents. This helps to ensure that fathers are more involved in child rearing and that the children reap the psychological benefits of having meaningful interactions with both parents. However, frequent moving back and forth can sometimes be disruptive on the children's schedules.

With the arrangement called nesting, the children remain in the family home while the parents leave and return, based on their custody schedule. It is based on the practice of joint custody, providing the benefits of allowing the children to bond with both parents, but without the disadvantage of disrupting the children's living arrangements. Allowing the children to remain in their home can ensure their security and provide them with a sense of permanence. They will not have the burden of keeping track of their belongings with each move.

When they are in the midst of a time of change and confusion, having a sense of routine can be helpful to children. They can also benefit from seeing their parents cooperate on their behalf. The children will also have the advantage of having a familiar environment in which to maintain a close relationship with both parents.

A family law attorney might suggest this form of custodial arrangement to a parent who is facing the end of a marriage. Nesting is probably best if it is short term and used during the period immediately following the divorce.

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