Guiding your children through divorce is extremely difficult. Even if you and your ex-spouse are on good terms, decoupling your family involves a lot of stress.
One way that some divorcing families are mitigating the stress of divorce with children is by choosing a “nesting” living arrangement. As per NBC News, “nesting” imitates the motions of parent birds taking care of baby birds: only one parent is in the family home at a time, while the children are permanently in residence.
What are the benefits?
Nesting is a good arrangement for many families at the beginning of divorce. It is likely that you and your ex will want space from each other to make good decisions and not stoke tensions unnecessarily. However, it is unlikely that future plans for your family are clear. Nesting gives the parents space while allowing the children to live in the same house, see the same friends and attend the same school district.
What are the challenges?
Nesting is usually not a long-term solution for most families. It is likely that you and your ex will want to set up separate households in the future, and maintaining the family home may prove cost-prohibitive. Plus, nesting for too long may give your children false hope that you and your ex will “work it out.”
Nesting is a good stopgap measure for many families who want to make the divorce process as easy on the children as possible. It does require a great deal of cooperation between the parents to maintain. Thus, it is usually not a good option for acrimonious divorces.