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What is “nesting” and is it for us?

If you are in the middle of a divorce, it is likely that interpersonal problems have been present in your life for some time. However, getting a divorce with children involved often makes the entire process even more stressful.

One of the most stressful aspects of rebuilding your post-divorce life will likely be figuring out your living arrangements while trying to co-parent with your ex-spouse. In response to these troubles, some families have started experimenting with a revolutionary living situation: nesting.

What makes nesting different?

In the traditional joint parenting arrangement, the parents have their own separate houses and the children have their own living situations at the separate houses. Thus, the children will move back and forth between the parents’ houses depending on what the custody schedule is.

With nesting, the children stay in one living arrangement. This mimics baby birds staying in the nest. Instead, it is the parents that do the moving. The children stay in the family home, and one parent is present at all times.

How is this beneficial?

For some families, moving children between two separate households frequently can cause a lot of angst. For families with children who have special needs, moving the children can be dangerous. For older children in particular, moving frequently between two separate households may spark repeated arguments.

In some situations, nesting is financial. If your family lived in an expensive neighborhood previously, it may be that the only way you can keep your children in the same neighborhood with the same schools is to nest. Nesting is also a way to allow older children to graduate before breaking up the family home.