What is “nesting” and how can it help my children?
The challenges associated with divorce often do not end when you sign the final documents. Particularly if you have children, it is highly likely that you will end up in a co-parenting situation with your ex-spouse and will need to make arrangements to support this.
Co-parenting has documented benefits for children, but it can be a difficult logistical arrangement. Some families have turned to nesting as an alternative co-parenting situation to help ease the stress involved with parents living in separate homes. According to Psychology Today, nesting refers to an arrangement where the kids stay in one household and the parents move in and out.
How can nesting help our family?
Nesting is particularly popular at the beginning of a divorce when the parents need space from each other but they do not have solid post-divorce living situations figured out yet. Nesting allows the parents to have the space they need while also not unduly interrupting their children’s lives.
Nesting can also be helpful in a more permanent sense if your family lives in an expensive area. If your neighborhood is high-cost, it may not be possible for you or your ex-spouse to maintain residences in that neighborhood as single entities. A nesting situation will allow you to maintain the family home.
What are the difficulties?
Nesting requires a very high level of good communication with your ex-spouse, often even more than a “regular” co-parenting custody situation. You will need to be able to divide bills and essentially run the family unit together, even though you and your ex-spouse are no longer married. For some ex-couples this is not possible.