Children thrive on routine and familiarity, but this is often in scarcity after a divorce. Nesting, a co-parenting arrangement where children remain in the family home while parents take turns living with them allows them to maintain a sense of continuity and security.
It can help them more easily acclimate to the new changes in their lives. However, it is important to consider whether it is right for your family by asking a few questions.
Can you and your co-parent cooperate?
Nesting demands a high level of cooperation between parents. If there are ongoing conflicts or challenges in working together, nesting may not be the most suitable arrangement. Successful nesting requires a commitment from both parents to prioritize the well-being of their children and collaborate effectively. Coordinating schedules, sharing responsibilities and making joint decisions about the children’s well-being require open and clear communication.
Can you and your co-parent handle the financial implications?
When nesting, you and your co-parent have to maintain three separate residences, one for each of you and the family home. This means you will be responsible for the expenses of one home plus half of another. You may also have to maintain this for a period, so it is important to determine first if it is economically feasible.
Can you commit to being in place for a period?
Depending on the age of your children, you may continue nesting for months to years. If you have plans to relocate in the new future or switch to a job that forces you to move, then it may not be right for your family. Similarly, if your children are close to the age of moving out and will not be there long, you may not want to commit to such an arrangement.
According to Harbor Psychiatry and Mental Health, children with divorced parents exhibit an increased risk of having mental health problems, seeing a decline in academic performance and developing poor behaviors. The period after a divorce can be difficult for minor children, especially younger ones. If you have a good relationship with your co-parent and the time and financial ability needed to make it work, nesting can help your children adjust.