Nesting- it isn’t only for the birds
When one hears the term “nesting,” their thoughts frequently turn to birds or a pregnant woman preparing for birth – getting a nursery ready. However, nesting is also a term used in divorce .
Nesting in divorce refers to a co-parenting arrangement that allows the children to remain in the family home and the parents (not the children) take turns rotating in and out of the family house. During the time that the parents are not in the family home with the children, the parents reside in a separate residence – either on their own or they rotate another shared residence with their former spouse. Nesting is generally used when parents have equal parenting time with the children.
The benefits of nesting are that it provides the children with significantly less disruption in their lives and their routines. The children get to stay in their pre-divorce residence, and there is no need to shuffle them between two different households. Moreover, if the parents decide to share the residence that they reside in when away from the children, they can save some money – as it doesn’t have to be large enough to accommodate the children.
Many couples have come to divorce mediation and have already worked out this nesting arrangement on their own – often without even knowing that this living arrangement has a name! In situations like this, we help couples fine tune this living arrangement – such as clarifying days of the week they will reside in the “nest,” and financial issues. Other couples come to mediation, and we brainstorm the idea of nesting with them.
Nesting is definitely a unique arrangement that works best when both parents are comfortable with this type of living situation – they need to both be agreeable to living in the former family home. Nesting can serve as a temporary transition into divorce, or a permanent arrangement until the children leave the nest!