It can be difficult to create comfortable living arrangements for your family after divorce. Moving children between two separate households has the potential to be extremely stressful. Particularly if you have children with special needs or older children who resist moving constantly, the “traditional” co-parenting living arrangement may not work.
In response to these problems, some divorced families are experimenting with “nesting.” A nesting arrangement flips the traditional co-parenting living situation on its head. Rather than the children moving between the parents, the children stay in one house and the parents come and go.
What can nesting solve?
Nesting removes the need to move children between separate living situations. Instead, it is the parents who take on the burden of moving around. Nesting can be a good compromise for families who have children that require specific medical equipment. It can also be a good situation for older children who are about to finish high school. Nesting allows them to stay put and finish their schooling before moving out of the “nest.”
What are the difficulties?
In order for a nesting situation to work, you and your ex-spouse must be on very good terms. Even though you will no longer live together, you will need to coordinate enough to maintain the family home. This means continuing to manage bills, repairs and other household tasks.
The living arrangements for the parents during a nesting situation depend on how long the nesting will go on. In more temporary situations, the parent may live with other family members or friends when not in the family home. In longer-term nesting situations, often the parents maintain a separate apartment for the parent who is not with the children.