The Pros & Cons of a Nestling Custody Plan

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsAs a child, the first thing you remember aside from your parents is the home that you lived in. For children, the importance of the home that they live in and have lived it for the whole of their lives is immense.  This is why keeping the children in the marital home is top priority for most parents even when going through a divorce.

Responsible parents will know the importance of giving the child something to hold on to and feel stable about when the whole world that they have known is changing around them. To achieve this, some parents adopt what is called a nestling plan.

What is a Nestling Plan?

A nestling plan is a term that is derived from the home that birds live in, i.e. a nest. The arrangement in this is such that the parents mutually decide to keep the marital home and the children continue to live in it.  Each of the parents takes turns living there with the children when it is their turn to have custody. The other parent, meanwhile, live somewhere else during their non-custodial times.  Here is a look at the pros and cons of having a nestling plan for your children post divorce.


·         Financial

Keeping the marital home and simply renting another small apartment to live in for either of the spouse when it’s not their parenting time represents a significant reduction in the cost of residence. This is the single largest expense for a spouse post-divorce and so a nestling plan can help you in terms of financial savings.

·         Emotional

When you are parents what is the first and foremost thought that comes to your mind? Yes, it is the well-being of your children. Even when you get into a divorce you are not ceasing to be a parent. You will continue to be a parent and keeping the marital home will ensure that you allow your children some emotional solace to stay in the place where they have routine, friends and a life.


·         Financial

Staying in the marital home can also be an advantage and depending on perspectives also a con.  Also, this is not really a long-term solution.

Generally, a nestling plan is a viable option while you are going through your divorce or for a certain period of time thereafter, but not necessarily as a permanent arrangement.  However, during a divorce, it can provide stability to the children of divorce until a final resolution is worked out and the parties can move forward with their lives.


To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”