Parents who divorce have to keep their kids in mind as they map out their next steps. Your life will face a drastic shift and the pace of your children’s lives will also change. One way to create a sense of consistency is by keeping and sharing the family home or more specifically, nesting.
Nesting involves having your family home remain a permanent living space for your children. So instead of having your kids split their living between two homes, you and your ex will take turns raising your children in the same place. When it isn’t your turn with the kids, parents live off-site in a separate residence. If you are able to put aside your differences with your ex for the sake of your kids and want to take divorce one step at a time, then nesting could be a good option for your family.
This type of arrangement works well for families who want to ease into change. Maybe you have young a young baby or toddler who could benefit from keeping the same routines. Or perhaps you have older children who feel like moving away from friends is unfair. In these types of scenarios, nesting can serve as a short- or long-term solution to transition your life after divorce at a slower pace and with less change.
If both you and your spouse have grown to love the family home, the neighborhood, community and school district, then nesting might be a good option. It takes time to shop for a home with a checklist that needs to meet the needs of you and your children, so keeping your part-time home and your children’s full-time home exactly the same can save you some hassle.
When marriages end on bad terms, nesting might not be the best solution. Although, you have the option to move into a second home that you don’t have to share with your ex-spouse, you are still sharing the family home to a certain degree. So, if you disagreed with how your ex operated the household during your marriage — from doing chores or paying for bills — or feel like you need minimal direct interaction with your ex, then you might want to consider a different arrangement.
You can always test any doubts you have about nesting by simply trying it out. Setting up your living situation post-divorce doesn’t have to be a rushed decision or a permanent one either.