Can “nesting” help our divorcing family?

| Dec 29, 2020 | Divorce |

Co-parenting may be in the best interest of the children, but that does not make it an easy arrangement. Because of the difficulties inherent with many co-parenting situations, some families have been experimenting with alternative living solutions. 

One of these solutions is “bird nesting.” Bird-nesting, or simply “nesting,” involves the children residing permanently in the family home with the parents swapping in and out, much like birds in a nest, as per Psychology Today. 

What problems does this solve?

Keeping the children in a single domicile can solve many problems. Moving children between two separate living situations is difficult enough when they are young, but it can become a point of friction when the children are older and want more permanence. Children with special needs can often be very difficult to move between households. 

Nesting can also help families that live in expensive areas. Many families want their children to grow up in the same neighborhood with the same school system after divorce as they did prior to it. However, if the neighborhood is expensive it is possible that the parents will not be able to maintain a household in the neighborhood as single entities. Maintaining the family home in a joint manner may be the only financially-realistic option in this situation. 

Where does the off-duty parent live?

In temporary nesting situations, it is not uncommon for the off-duty parent to live with family or friends. (Many families unintentionally nest at the beginning of divorce for the parents to get space from each other without disrupting the lives of the children unnecessarily early.) In a longer-term situation nesting, normally the parents decide to maintain a separate living situation for the off-duty parent.