Can nesting help our post-divorce family?

If you have children with your ex-spouse, divorce is only the beginning of this new chapter of your life. You will still need to work together with your ex-spouse to continue to raise your children. Unless there is addiction or abuse in the family home, joint custody is the most common arrangement after divorce.

One of the most challenging aspects of figuring out your post-divorce life will be raising your children while living separately from your ex-spouse. In some situations, families choose to experiment with non-standard living situations. One such situation is “nesting,” which involves the children staying in a family home on a permanent basis and the parents cycling in and out based on the custody schedule.

Why would we choose to do this?

It may be more advantageous for the children to stay in one place for multiple reasons. One common example is a child with special needs. If that child relies on certain medical equipment, moving him or her between two households may be dangerous.

It is also possible that the family lives in a very expensive area. In some situations, after a divorce parents would not be able to afford to live in the same neighborhood as single entities. In this situation, the parents may decide to maintain their existing family home so that they can keep their children in the same school district.

What should we keep in mind?

Nesting requires good communication. This is not a good arrangement to pursue if you and your ex-spouse cannot have a conversation without an argument. Nesting will mean that you and your ex-spouse will still be jointly maintaining the family home in terms of paying bills and keeping up on maintenance.