In a number of instances, I have drafted nesting custody agreements for couples seeking to divorce, but who lacked the financial capacity to set up two separate residences. Essentially, each parent lived with a relative or friend part of the week while the other parent lived in the marital home with the children, and vice versa. This allowed the parties to continue a more stable home environment for the children, rather than shuttling them back and forth between two homes, while simultaneously keeping the family’s finances stable, rather than spending for two separate residences.
Now, even wealthy couples are considering nesting custody agreements on either a temporary or permanent basis, but for different reasons having nothing to do with finances. These couples wish to remain amicable with one another and believe that nesting is the best arrangement for them to co-parent their children. In many of these cases, because of their work schedules, one parent may be situated out of the marital residence for long periods of time, while the other is co-parenting the children. When both parents are home at the same time, the marital residence is sufficiently large enough that they can usually remain separate and apart from one another most of the time if not altogether.
In such a scenario, the focus of the parties is not at all on the family’s finances since they are substantial, but is primarily motivated by what they believe to be the best interests of their children and their desire to co-parent them together. In several instances, these parents will also attend couples counseling in order to assist them further in co-parenting their children.
Recent examples of these new kinds of arrangements include the divorces of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, and Debra Messing and Daniel Zelman. But regardless of whether parents are wealthy or not, their willingness to at least attempt a nesting custody arrangement for a period of time, and a desire to co-parent their children together, can only benefit these children in the long run.