One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is explaining what is happening to your children. Going through divorce with kids and then creating a valid co-parenting agreement with your ex-spouse is very challenging.
In response to these challenges, some families have decided to go with a “nesting” living arrangement for at least a temporary period. As Psychology Today explains, “nesting” is a living situation where kids stay in one residence while the parents cycle in and out, similar to parent birds taking care of babies.
When should we nest?
Nesting is helpful in a variety of situations. It is not uncommon for parents to choose a nesting arrangement at the beginning of a divorce. At this point, it is unlikely that either parent has a solid idea of what their living situation will be like after the divorce. Nesting allows the parents to have space from each other while not interrupting the children’s lives needlessly.
In some situations, parents use nesting to keep children in the same neighborhood, particularly if it is expensive to live in the neighborhood. In high-cost areas, it is possible that the parents will not be able to stay in the same neighborhood as single entities. Nesting allows the parents to continue to fund the family home while living apart.
What are the downsides?
Nesting requires a great deal of good communication from you and your ex-spouse, more than a traditional co-parenting arrangement. If your divorce is hostile, maintaining a nesting situation may not be possible.
It is also not likely that you will be able to maintain a testing situation for a long period of time, given that most parents would like to set up their own independent households at some point.