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Attorney Carrie Wilcox

Child custody solutions: Parallel parenting vs. nesting

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Child Custody

Phoenix parents going through a divorce are more concerned than ever about helping their children through the process. Even family courts understand that protecting the emotional and mental health of children should remain the top priority.

As such, Arizona courts are more inclined to approve non-traditional child custody plans than they were in the past. Two non-traditional plans gaining popularity in recent years are parallel parenting agreements and nesting or bird nesting plans.

What is parallel parenting?

One definition of parallel parenting describes it as an arrangement where divorced spouses co-parent by disengaging from one another. In simpler terms, it means that co-parents severely limit their contact with each other. In situations where co-parents cannot get along, parallel parenting helps reduce near-constant parental conflict to preserve the best interests of their children.

  • How it works: In most cases, parents do not interfere with each other’s parenting style in these arrangements. Instead, each parent can raise their kids individually in whatever manner they find the most effective. You and your co-parent will need to establish strict ground rules before a court will approve such an arrangement.

What is nesting?

Nesting is an arrangement where the children remain in the family home, and the parents switch residences during custody exchanges. Nesting arrangements like this help preserve mental, emotional and residential stability for children of divorce.

  • How it works: In these child custody plans, one parent moves out of the home while the other parent stays there with the children until it is time to switch again. Arguably, the most valuable benefit of nesting is that it allows children to remain in a familiar and stable environment. It also preserves their established routines, which kids often welcome after the chaos of a divorce.

If you are looking for an arrangement that will not unduly disrupt or harm your kids, consider learning more about Arizona child custody laws.