When you go through the divorce process with children, you have lot more to think about before, during and after your legal settlement. One major consideration for many couples as they separate their personal lives but plan to raise their children together, is their post-divorce living arrangement.
Who gets to keep the family home? Where should I move? Should both of us move? These are all questions that you’ll probably have as you finalize your divorce and take on co-parenting. However, one arrangement you may have overlooked is nesting.
Through nesting, short for and inspired by bird nesting, divorced couples usually keep the family home and have the children stay there while they take turns parenting the kids within the home. So, instead of having children move back and forth, parents will have an off-site residence or place to stay when it isn’t their parenting time.
Here are three benefits to a nesting arrangement:
- Time to think about future of family home: Most people choose a family home with lots of care and research. So, maybe your love for your ex-spouse has changed, but you are still in love with your family home. Nesting can buy you time to decide who will keep the family home or maybe wait for another dreamy home to go on the market nearby.
- More stability for children: Young and older children benefit from consistency in routines, habits and social situations. In fact, instability that is attached to divorce or moving homes can negatively impact a child’s behavior, mental health and academic performance. Nesting can help slow down major transitions and give time for kids to adapt to new routines.
- Peace of mind for you: Perhaps you enjoy the community surrounding your family home or your children have lots of friends and ties in the neighborhood and school district. All these factors make moving more difficult. But nesting gives you the opportunity to not make any rushed decisions or simply give you one less decision amongst flurry you’ll have during the divorce process.
Nesting might not work for every family. But it’s important to keep in mind that it can be a very short-term solution or last a few years. It all depends on your family situation and how comfortable you are with sharing spaces with your ex after you separate.