Can nesting help our divorcing family?

It is very common to have a joint custody situation after divorce. This means that even once you divorce your ex-spouse, you will still need to have a working relationship of some sort with this person to raise your children. Depending on the specifics of your situation, this may seem very daunting. 

One way that some divorcing families are coping with joint custody is with a “nesting” or “bird-nesting” living situation. Nesting involves the children remaining in a single family dwelling where the parents rotate in and out like birds attending to babies in a nest, according to Psychology Today. 

What are the advantages?

Moving children between two separate households can be very stressful. Particularly if your children are older, they may express displeasure at moving back and forth between two living situations constantly. Nesting allows the children to stay in the same house and reduces this stress. 

Particularly if families live in a high cost of living area, nesting may be the only practical way to keep the children in the same school district with the same friends. 

What are the challenges?

Nesting requires a high level of effective communication between the two ex-spouses in order for it to work. If you and your ex-spouse are on bad terms, it is unlikely that you will be able to maintain a nesting situation. You will need to work out living arrangements for the off-duty spouse. Sometimes, families involved in a nesting arrangement choose to rent out a separate apartment for this purpose. 

Nesting is generally a temporary situation. It is likely that you and your ex-spouse will want to maintain separate living quarters at some point.