As you and your spouse end your marriage, you will need to consider how your divorce will impact your children’s lives. They may be firmly ingrained in the community you live in and removing them could cause serious disruptions. Leaving the family home could also upend the sense of security they have had up to this point. To make your divorce easier on your children, you may want to consider nesting.

How nesting works

In a nesting arrangement, you and your spouse will keep your family home and each live there during your scheduled custody or parenting time. When it is not your scheduled time with your children, you and your spouse may alternate between a shared apartment. Or, you may be able to work out an arrangement to stay with family or friends when not in your family home.

For most divorcing couples, nesting is not a long-term solution. Yet, if you and your spouse are splitting on amicable terms, it is possible to make it an ongoing arrangement. For nesting to succeed, though, you two must establish a plan to address:

  • How you will communicate with each other
  • How you will resolve any disputes that arise
  • How you will share parenting and financial responsibilities
  • How you will take care of the family home
  • How you will rotate in and out of the family home on special occasions, like birthdays, holidays and vacations
  • Whether you will allow overnight guests, like a significant other

How nesting could benefit your children

A nesting arrangement could give your children the continuity and stability they may miss out on if you sold your family home. By nesting, you will be able to keep them in their school and community. You will be able to keep your children’s possessions in one place as well, rather than scattering them between two households. And with its rotating schedule, nesting could make it easier for your children to adjust to and make sense of living with one parent at a time.

Keep in mind that nesting is not viable for all families. You and your spouse may be going through a contentious divorce. Or, one of you may have a history of abuse, substance abuse or neglect. In these cases, nesting may not be a possible – or safe – solution.

Absent these circumstances, though, nesting could allow your children to thrive and feel secure. In considering this arrangement, you will want to consult an attorney to determine if and how it will work for your family.