Nesting is an agreement in which the children stay in the family home while the parents take turns taking care of them. Most often, it means the parents live in a rented residence or stay with friends or family when it’s not their turn to care for their children.
Usually, nesting is a transitional and temporary arrangement specifically suited for the time when parents are separated and going through divorce proceedings. The agreement often ends when the divorce is finalized.
When deciding if nesting is a fitting arrangement for your family, you must keep in mind a number of aspects and weigh them carefully.
- Nesting may provide some stability for your children. Their routines can stay pretty much the same – same schools, same friends – and they still get to spend quality time with each one of you.
- Nesting can allow for easier and more frequent communication between parents. You can simply designate a specific area of the house to leave notes or talk face-to-face each time you switch living with your children.
- Nesting gives parents time to sort through vital divorce-related matters. It, therefore, eliminates the need to make quick – and often unwise – decisions.
- Nesting provides time to rethink the decision to divorce. Stepping away from the immediate issues of conflict between you and your spouse can give you a more objective view.
- Nesting can satisfy an emotional need for either parent. Living in the marital home for a while longer may help you deal with the emotional aspects of leaving that life behind.
- Nesting can keep one parent from feeling disadvantaged. As the parent who is moving out, you may worry about losing your close connection to your children.
- Nesting provides a practice ground for solo parenting. Learning how to handle family matters alone can be more comfortable in a familiar environment.
- Nesting starts the time of separation. Many places require this period of break-up time before they will grant a no-fault divorce.
- Nesting has certain financial advantages. Renting temporary housing for yourself may be cheaper than having to support two households for both family settings.
- Nesting requires a lot of cooperation and trust between parents. Without that, making agreements about schedules and finances may be very hard.
- Nesting arrangements may be disruptive to the parents. Moving in and out of the family home can be troublesome and can make you feel unsettled.
- Nesting calls for parents to stay close – in the physical and emotional sense. It’s difficult when you move too far away from your family home or are not actively involved with your children.
- Nesting can blur the line of your break-up. Your emotions may be affected in unexpected ways as you spend a lot of time in a place that constantly reminds you of your ex-spouse.
- Nesting may make it hard for either parent to develop new relationships. You may find it harder to move on or your arrangement could be a turn-off for a new potential mate.
- Nesting can become problematic when either parent starts a new long-term relationship. Your new partner may not want you to share a home with your ex anymore.
- Nesting could give children the false hope that parents may reconcile. Finalizing the divorce may be an especially devastating crush on the hope that had been prolonged.
- Nesting can present financial drawbacks. It may be costly for you both to support your family home as well as your other living quarters.
- Nesting may cause conflict over hidden financial obstacles. The question of who will get to deduct the mortgage interest, real estate taxes, or exemptions for your children may cause disagreements.
After thorough contemplation, if you decide that the disadvantages outweigh the benefits in your case, you may want to consider other, more feasible options.