Should we try nesting?

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is figuring out an appropriate co-parenting plan. There are many advantages to co parenting in terms of child development, but coming up with a functional agreement is a challenge.

In response to these challenges, some divorced families have been experimenting with a nesting living arrangement. As per Psychology Today, “nesting” involves children staying in one residence while the parents move in and out according to the agreement.  

Why is it called nesting? 

The idea is the children stay in one place, much like baby birds in a nest. Meanwhile, the parent birds cycle in and out of the nest to best take care of the children. Nesting is in contrast to the more typical co-parenting arrangement where both parents have their own living situations and the children move between the houses.

The parent who is not “on-duty” in a nesting situation may choose to live with other family or friends. In longer-term nesting situations, the ex-spouses may decide to rent an apartment together for the “off-duty” parent.  

Is this really practical? 

Depending on your situation, nesting can indeed be very practical. For example, many divorcing families find nesting useful when the divorce is just getting started. Nesting can give the parents necessary space from each other while not disrupting the living patterns of the children.

Some families nest for a longer period of time. Particularly if the family lives in an expensive area, the parents may decide to invest in an elongated nesting situation to keep the children in the same school system or home.