Rebuilding your life after a divorce is challenging, even if you do not have children. However, if the future involves a joint custody situation between you and your ex-spouse, planning the next steps becomes much more complicated.
In a traditional co-parenting situation, the children move between parental households according to a custody schedule. However, this arrangement does not work for all families. According to Psychology Today, more American families are experimenting with a different post-divorce living situation: nesting.
What is it?
Nesting turns the traditional joint custody arrangement on its head. Instead of the children doing the moving between parental households, the children stay in one living situation. Instead, it is the parents who do the moving in and out of the family home according to the custody schedule.
The term “nesting” comes from the way that the arrangement mimics the movement of parent birds with fledglings in the nest. The parents do all of the moving, and the fledglings stay in the nest.
Who does it benefit?
Particularly if your family chooses to nest in the home you lived in prior to divorce, nesting provides an unparalleled amount of stability for your children. Nesting may also be a good compromise if you have older children who are about to graduate high school. Older children tend to resist moving between parental households more than younger children do. Some families decide to nest so that their children can graduate.
Nesting is also useful for families with children who have special needs. Depending on the child’s needs, it may be dangerous to move them frequently. Nesting allows the family to keep all essential medications and support equipment in one home.