Many divorcing parents have one thing at the forefront of their mind: the children. Divorce is stressful for everybody, and many parents focus heavily on how to make it easier on their kids. One such method gaining popularity is a “nesting” living situation.
Nesting is not for everybody: it requires close collaboration between the parents and a very good working relationship. Instead of the “traditional” custody arrangement where the children travel between the houses of the parents, nesting involves the children living in a single-family home while the parents rotate.
What does nesting look like?
While no two couples are the same, the basics of nesting involve the parents swapping shifts with the kids. Some parents do it on a weekly basis, and some swap more frequently than this. In some nesting arrangements, the “off-duty” parent lives with friends and family while not in the house; in others, the parents may also share a studio apartment for when they are not with the kids.
Wealthy families might even set up separate households for the parents while maintaining the family home, but this is prohibitive for most.
What are the benefits?
Nesting is great at the beginning of a divorce. Usually at this point, the ex-spouses need space from each other, but may not have concrete plans for the future yet. Nesting allows the parents to have space but provides maximum stability for the kids.
Nesting is typically a shorter-term arrangement, but there are some ex-couples who maintain a nesting situation until the kids leave the house.
There is more than one way to approach child custody and divorce. While nesting is unorthodox, it is the best solution for many American families.