In many cases, the largest asset to be sold and split in a divorce is the family home. Often, it is that split that allows couples to move on to their separate lives financially stable. Indeed, it is so common that we did a blog post on dividing the family home in a divorce. Did you know, however, that there are even more options? In fact, some amicable West Michigan divorcees actually decide not to immediately sell the family home. Instead, they share it.
How do they share it?
Through a practice known as birdnesting or nesting, they elect to keep the family home, at least temporarily, to ensure that their child’s life remains unchanged throughout the divorce. The parents come back to the family home when it is their parenting time and leave when it is not their time. This most commonly occurs during the divorce process before final agreements on the marital assets are determined.
In these situations, once the divorce agreement is finalized, or at some agreed upon point in the future, the family home is sold or one of the parties purchases it from the other. Additionally, if it is financially feasible, the co-parents could also decide to maintain the family home for the child for some period of time. There are many options when it comes to determining what to do with the marital assets in a divorce depending on how creative the parties, and their attorneys, want to be in determining what is in the family’s best interest.
On average, the nesting period lasts a few months, and usually, a maximum of 6 months to a year. The point is generally to help the child (and, sometimes, the parents) transition from one family unit to two family units as healthily as possible. And, in combination with family counseling, this may help Michigan parents find that their children are less negatively affected by the divorce and better able to transition from their old life.
Parents can also use the nesting period to help make the divorce process less expensive and to save up for their post-divorce lives. This can especially be the case where parents have a support network of family or friends who will provide them temporarily housing while they are not in the home with the children. Another option is that the parents share a second, temporary, residence like an apartment that they use when it is not their time to parent. Alternatively, not every divorcing couple physically separates during the process. Another way to maximize cost saving for the family is to figure out a way for both parents to stay at the family home.
Is it right for you?
Nesting is not right for everyone and each family is unique. Schedule a consultation today to determine how Giordano Law can help West Michigan couples navigate their divorce.