Coming up with a suitable living arrangement for your family is one of the most difficult undertakings after divorce; this is particularly true for joint-custody families. The traditional arrangement involves the parents setting up completely separate households and the children moving between the households as per the custody schedule.
However, for some families this is not an agreeable or equitable arrangement. In response, some families have begun experimenting with a new living arrangement: “nesting.”
What is nesting and how is it different?
The idea of nesting is that it emulates the way parent birds take care of young in the nest. That is, baby birds stay in one nest and it is the parent birds that do all the moving. Likewise, in a post-divorce nesting living arrangement, the child or children stay in one household while the parents move in and out according to what the custody schedule demands.
Who does nesting benefit?
Many families end up in a de-facto nesting situation at the beginning of divorce. In this instance, both parents are usually trying to get space from each other while not disrupting their children’s lives too much. If any children in the household have special needs, nesting may be the only realistic arrangement as moving special needs children between houses might be dangerous.
Nesting is also a good solution for families with older children. Many older children resent frequent moving much more than younger children do. A robust and stable nesting arrangement can allow the children to maintain a steady schedule until they graduate high school and leave the “nest.”