Nesting agreements are a way to keep children of divorce living in the marital home when their parents have decided to part ways. It works by letting the children live in the home full time while the parents take turns living there with them. Nesting presumes that there is a second space, which could be a nearby apartment, where the parent who is not in the home with the children stays.
Parents who do not wish to upset their children’s living situation because of their school situation or other factors may find a nesting agreement ideal. For a nesting agreement to succeed, the parents must be on amicable terms and willing to work with each other.
Goals of a Nesting Agreement
It is important to note that a nesting agreement is not a parenting plan and that all the details of a parenting plan will have to be worked out in addition to the nesting agreement. The parenting plan determines the children’s schedule for holidays and vacations, child support, medical and dental insurance, payment of college expenses and tax deductions.
Besides the schedule for when each parent will be in the house with the children, a nesting agreement must cover:
- How the expenses of the house and its upkeep will be divided, including utilities, repairs, cleaning, and landscaping
- How the expense of the second residence will be divided
- How the tax breaks from mortgage interest will be divided
- How child support payments will be made and to whom
Because the primary goal of a nesting agreement is to allow the children to live in the marital home, most arrangements are temporary and last until either the children have finished school, or one person enters a serious relationship, which can make a nesting situation awkward. It is important to explain to the children that having their parents share the home does not mean they will be getting back together.
Things to Consider When Creating Your Nesting Agreement
For certain couples, continuing to use the marital home can be difficult even though they alternate spending time there with the children. Seeing the belongings of your ex-spouse can make it harder to make a clean emotional break. Ideally, each person should have their own bedroom in the home. Respect for each other’s privacy is key in a nesting agreement.
It is important to plan for what will happen to the home at the end of your agreement. Will one spouse continue to use it? If so, then a plan needs to be worked out for payment of household expenses or transferring ownership. Will you put it on the market and split the proceeds? These are important issues that need to be considered from the start and written into the agreement to avoid grievances down the road. A nesting agreement crafted with the personal attention of an experienced family law attorney has the best chance of success.
Somerville Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Assist Clients with Nesting Agreements, Parenting Plans, and All Aspects of Divorce
If you have questions about nesting agreements, contact the dedicated Somerville divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. for personalized attention to your legal needs. We provide free and confidential consultations, so call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online. From our office in Somerville, New Jersey, we serve the surrounding areas, including Somerset County, Morris County, Union County, and the communities of Bridgewater, Mendham, Morristown, South Plainfield, and Somerset.