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Should we “nest” as a divorced family?

When most people envision co-parenting, they think of children moving according to a preset custody schedule between two separate parental households. While this is a common arrangement post-divorce, it is not the only solution.

Since the “traditional” living arrangement associated with joint custody does not work for all families, some have been experimenting with “nesting.” According to Psychology Today, nesting takes its name from the way that baby birds stay in the nest with the parents moving in and out to take care of them.

What are the benefits?

The major benefit associated with nesting is that it allows the children to stay in the same home. Particularly if you choose to nest in the living situation you were in prior to divorcing, nesting allows a high level of continuity for your children. They will not have to move, and they will not have to change school districts.

Nesting is also a good way to lower conflict in post-divorce households. If your children are older, they may resist moving frequently between houses. Nesting allows you to skip this argument entirely. Particularly if your children are close to high school graduation, you may find that nesting until they do so is the best way to manage the situation.

What are the drawbacks?

You will need to be on very good terms with your ex-spouse for nesting to function. Nesting requires you and your ex-spouse working together to continue to maintain a family home. In some situations, nesting parents even rent a separate apartment for the “off-duty” parent to stay in. Nesting is beneficial in many ways, but if you are not on speaking terms with your ex-spouse it is not an option.