There is no question that divorce is tough on everybody involved. However, more and more divorcing and divorced parents are getting creative in order to make the transition as easy as possible for the children, even if it means creating an additional burden for themselves. One recent trend is referred to as nesting.
What Is Nesting?
Typical child custody arrangements involve children shuffling from one parent’s house to the others, perhaps on a weekly or biweekly basis. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, nesting is when the children remain in the family home after the divorce and each parent takes turns living there, perhaps for a week or two weeks at a time.
When the parent is not living in the family home with the children, he or she is living in an apartment or someplace else. In some cases, the divorced parents share a separate apartment together and switch off between living in the apartment and living in the family home with the children.
Nesting: The Good And The Bad
On the surface, nesting may seem like a viable alternative. It certainly seems like it would be less stressful for the children, as they do not have to worry about packing their things again and again and moving back and forth.
However, experts have some concerns with these arrangements. They believe that children can get over the stress of moving back and forth, but conflict is difficult. If nesting creates additional conflict between the parents because they have to work so closely together, that could negatively impact the children. Even if the parents are able to work together without conflict there are concerns, because it might create confusion among the children as to whether their parents are together or not.
Knowing Your Options
While nesting is certainly not for everyone, it is valuable to know that it is an option and that, in fact, creativity can be exercised to create parenting time arrangements that make sense based on your family’s unique circumstances. If you are going through a divorce or have a child custody matter to address, you can benefit from working with an attorney who is well-versed in the wide variety of available options and can help you weigh them based on the needs of your children and your situation.