Is “nesting” a good living situation for us post-divorce?

In the event that you have children with your ex-spouse, your partnership will not end the moment the ink dries on the divorce papers. In fact, for some families, figuring out an optimal living situation post-divorce is more challenging than the divorce itself.

In response to these challenges, some families are experimenting with a new form of co-parenting: nesting. With nesting, the children stay in one living space while the parents move in and out according to the custody schedule. This living situation is comparable to parent birds tending to babies who stay in the nest.

Who does nesting benefit?

Nesting is a good solution for families who anticipate problems moving children between living situations. A good example would be a child with special needs who requires specific medical equipment. Moving this child back and forth could be hazardous to his or her health.

Nesting can also be a good situation for older children. Older children typically resist shuttling back and forth between living situations more than younger children do. Nesting can allow older children to maintain their current lifestyle until they graduate from high school and move on to college or move out.

Where does the parent who is not in the “nest” live?

This often depends on how permanent the situation is. In temporary living situations, it is not uncommon for the off-duty parent to live with friends or other family members on their couches or in spare bedrooms.

If the nesting situation is longer-term, the parents usually rent a separate apartment or living situation for the off-duty parent.