If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, your chief concern will likely be its impact on your children. Minimizing its effects on their lives can be difficult, especially as you face the prospect of dividing one household into two. Yet, in recent years, many divorced parents have made nesting arrangements work, whether as a short-term or long-term solution. If nesting is viable for your family, it could help your children feel more secure as they adjust to life after your divorce.
How nesting works
Many children shuttle back and forth between households after their parents get divorced. While some are fine with this arrangement, others may find it disruptive. By nesting, you and your spouse can avoid the challenges that come with establishing separate residences. In a nesting arrangement, you will keep the family home. Your children will live there full-time, and you and your spouse will rotate in and out, depending on your custody schedule.
Some parents who nest share an apartment, staying there individually when the other is with their children in the family home. From a financial and practical perspective, this could be the easiest solution for you and your spouse. Alternatively, you may both be able to work out an arrangement to stay with family or friends during the other’s scheduled custody.
What nesting allows
The biggest advantage of nesting is that it allows your children to remain in one household, instead of splitting their lives between two. By keeping your family home, your children will have all their possessions in one place. Likely, nesting will allow them to remain at their school and in their community as well. In providing your children this stability and continuity, they may have an easier time adjusting to living with one parent at a time.
Keep in mind that nesting may only be a short-term solution for your family. Some divorced parents can make nesting work over the long haul. But you and your spouse must be able and willing to communicate and cooperate for this to happen. In either case, you will need to create a nesting plan that details how you two will share parenting duties, handle household finances and solve conflicts that may arise.
Before you decide to pursue a nesting arrangement, you must make sure that it aligns with your family’s circumstances. If you have concerns about its viability, a family law attorney can help you understand if – and how – it could work in your situation.