Many parts of divorce are difficult, but few are as fraught as child custody. Even if you and your ex-spouse are on generally good terms, negotiating this subject can be a minefield.
One of the most difficult aspects can be re-imagining your family life after the divorce. For many families, moving the children between separate households is too much of a burden. In these instances, some families are experimenting with “nesting.” Nesting is a family setup where the children stay in one living environment and the parents move in and out as per the custody agreement.
How does nesting help?
For some families, nesting may be the only safe option. A common example is a family with a child who has special needs. If that child relies upon certain medical devices, moving the child frequently may be too risky. In this situation, nesting may be necessary to protect the best interests of the child.
Older children often protest moving between households more than younger children do. If this is a point of contention in your family, maintaining a nesting situation until the children graduate might be the easiest option for everybody involved.
Is nesting practical?
Every family’s needs are different. For some families, nesting may actually be the more practical choice. In other situations, nesting may be right for a short period of time. Some families slip into unintentional nesting situations at the beginning of a divorce when the parents need space from each other but nobody wants to disrupt family life too early.
Keeping parental disputes away from the children is key to their emotional and mental health during and after divorce. You and the other parent should consider whether sharing your living spaces with each other without conflict is possible before you opt for this living arrangement.