What is “nesting?”

Often, rebuilding your life after a divorce is the most difficult part of the entire process. Particularly if you are looking at a joint custody situation, organizing your new family life can be very stressful.

In most joint custody situations, the parents have separate households and the children move between them for preset amounts of time. However, this arrangement is not ideal for all families. As per Psychology Today, some families are choosing to engage in nesting, a living arrangement that allows the children to stay in one house.

How does nesting work?

Nesting involves the family maintaining a family home. The children live full-time in the family home, and the parents are the ones that move in and out according to the preset schedule.

This is where the moniker “nesting” drives from. The movement of the parents in and out of the family home is reminiscent of parent birds moving in and out of a nest caring for their young.

What are the benefits?

Particularly if you are able to nest in the old family home, nesting provides an unparalleled amount of stability to children. Other than only one parent being present in the house, very little will change in terms of a child’s daily routine. The child gets to keep the same neighborhood, the same school district, the same friends and the same bedroom.

Nesting can also keep special needs children safer, as moving a special needs child may be dangerous. It can reduce conflict if you have older children who might resent moving frequently. Overall, nesting is a flexible living arrangement that suits many post-divorce families.

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