Figuring out your living situation after divorce is challenging for multiple reasons. If you will have joint custody of children with your ex-spouse, managing the living situation becomes even more complex.
Typically, the parents set up separate households after divorce and the children move back and forth between the households. However, some families have found that the traditional living arrangement post-divorce is not working for them, and they have chosen an alternative living arrangement: nesting.
How is nesting different?
Nesting involves the children staying in one living situation. Most commonly, it is the house that the family was living in prior to divorce if at all possible. With a nesting living arrangement, the children stay in the family home and it is the parents that do the moving in and out of the family home.
The “off-duty” parent may decide to live with other friends or family when the other parent is in the house with the children. For longer-term nesting situations, sometimes ex-couples decide to maintain a separate apartment for the off-duty parent.
What problems can this solve?
Families who have children with special needs may find that nesting is the only way to ensure that necessary medical equipment and medication never goes missing. Nesting can also help lower conflict in houses with older children. Many older children resent moving between households frequently, and nesting can remove this tension.
In the event that your family lived in a very high cost of living area prior to your divorce, nesting may be the only way for you to continue for your children to live in that area and attend the schools. Some divorced families choose nesting due to economics.