In many cases, reinventing your life in the aftermath of a divorce is the most difficult part of the process. Particularly if you will be sharing custody with your ex-spouse, figuring out new living situations can be very stressful, both for parents and for children.
Typically, after a divorce, both parents will seek to set up their own households, and the children will move between them according to the custody schedule. However, this does not work for all families. According to Psychology Today, many American families are experimenting with nesting as an alternative means of managing joint custody.
What is it?
Instead of the children moving between two houses, nesting turns this arrangement on its head. Rather, the children live in one house, and the parents do all of the moving.
There are many benefits associated with nesting. Particularly if you have older children, nesting can help cut down on the amount of stress involved with frequently moving them: older children often resent this. In fact, many families with older children decide to nest until the kids graduate high school. At this point, the parents will then dissolve the family home.
What are the drawbacks?
Nesting necessitates high levels of communication with your ex-spouse. If you and your ex-spouse are on acrimonious terms, the likelihood that you will be able to nest effectively is low. Remember, you will still need to be running a family home jointly.
Many people also find that living in temporary quarters as a parent is not comfortable. In order to fix this problem, some nesting parents decide to rent a separate apartment for the parent who is not “on duty” in the family home. Again, this requires a high level of communication between ex-spouses.