If you and your spouse are planning to divorce, you will likely fear how your decision could disrupt your children’s lives. No matter your feelings toward each other, you two may be on the same page about parenting and may loathe the idea of shuttling your children back and forth between households. Yet, it is possible to keep your children under one roof if you opt for a nesting arrangement. While this approach is non-traditional, it could provide your children the stability and security they need.
How nesting works
A nesting arrangement means that you and your spouse will keep your family home after your divorce. It will remain your children’s sole residence, and you two will rotate in and out of it based on your custody schedule. When it is not your time with your children, you will find a place to stay outside the family home. This may be an apartment that you and your spouse also rotate in and out of. If sharing an apartment is unworkable, you two may choose to maintain your own separate residences. Or, you may decide to stay with family or friends instead.
Keep in mind that many families who adopt a nesting arrangement do so for a short period. While some parents can make long-term nesting work, this will only make sense in your situation if you and your spouse are parting on amicable terms.
What nesting can offer children
One possible benefit of nesting is that it could help your children adapt to living with one parent at a time. They will likely feel sad that you and your spouse are splitting up. But they may have an easier time coping by remaining in the family home. Rather than changing schools, nesting will keep them in their community. And rather than moving back and forth between households, nesting will keep your children and their belongings in one place.
For nesting to succeed for your family, you and your spouse must be willing and able to communicate and cooperate. If you two are, you will still need to create a nesting plan that addresses important issues, including:
- How you will handle parenting matters
- How you will handle household chores
- How you will split household finances
- How you will resolve conflicts
Nesting provides a solution for families who find traditional custody arrangements challenging. Before moving forward with it, though, you must make sure it is workable for yours. A family law attorney can help you understand if and how nesting could make sense in your circumstances.