Divorce is often a massive transition for children. To alleviate or avoid the potential trauma of this transition, some parents consider keeping the kids in one home while Mom and Dad do the moving in and out.
This is referred to as “nesting,” and it may be something you are considering if you going through a divorce. However, there are some aspects of this arrangement that should give you pause.
Instead of maintaining two separate properties, as is the case in traditional shared custody situations, parents will need to maintain three. This includes the nest and each parent’s respective home in which they live when they are not with the kids.
This means three rent or mortgage payments; three sets of utility bills; three different places that need food, cleaning supplies and furniture. If this is simply not within your financial capabilities, nesting likely will not work.
The sharing of space
Sharing space with someone to whom you are no longer married can be far more complicated than you expect. You both have to commit to maintaining the space; there won’t be much (if any) privacy from the other parent in the nest.
For some, this proves to be far too difficult. If you fought over household chores or various personal habits frequently during your marraige, these can all still be on display and the cause for arguments in a nesting situation.
The difficulty of moving on
Parents who still share the same home and possibly even sleep in the same bed can find it extraordinarily difficult to move forward after divorce. Continuing to occupy the same space and maintaining so many of the same routines you had during your marriage, even if only for some of the time, can slow the progression into a new chapter of life.
Making nesting work
As highlighted in this article, though, nesting can work for some people. More specifically, it can work for parents who are equally committed to the process and respect each other. If parents still trust each other to some degree and can communicate effectively, nesting may be feasible.
Before you decide on any post-divorce living arrangement, though, it can be a good idea to consult an attorney and consider your options from a practical, legal perspective.