If you and your spouse have made the difficult decision to divorce, you may both be worried about how your split could disrupt your children’s lives. They may have deep ties to their school and your community, as well as a consistent routine at home that helps them feel safe and stable. Dividing into two households could disrupt their relationships and rhythms, but you may not know of any alternative.
In recent years, many divorced couples have opted to try nesting, whether as a short-term or long-term parenting solution. If this arrangement makes sense in your circumstances, it will allow your children to remain in your family home.
Understanding how nesting works
Nesting is a parenting arrangement where you and your spouse take turns living with your children in your family home. By rotating in and out of it, you will save your children the hassle of shuttling back and forth between two households. Furthermore, nesting will also allow your children to keep all their possessions in one place, to remain in their school and community and to continue many of the routines they enjoyed before your divorce.
One challenge with nesting is figuring out where you will live when it is your spouse’s time with your children. Often, divorced couples who nest will rotate in and out of a shared apartment. Alternatively, you and your spouse may decide to maintain separate residences for when the other is in the family home. Or, you may work out an arrangement where you can stay with a relative or friend during this time.
Accounting for nesting in your parenting plan
To make nesting work for your family, you and your spouse will need to address the specifics of your arrangement in your parenting plan. Even if your divorce is amicable, pain points could arise, and you will want guidelines for how to handle them. In your plan, you and your spouse will want to establish:
- How you will divide household duties and expenses
- How you will divide parenting duties and expenses
- How you will resolve conflicts
- Whether you can bring significant others into the family home
- Your schedule for rotating in and out of the family home
Nesting could provide your children with the continuity and security they need after your divorce. With the help of a family law attorney, you can determine whether it is a viable arrangement in your situation.