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What is nesting and is right for my divorce?

When we hear the term divorce it likely triggers certain images. One may be a courtroom battle, another children moving to new homes. These images are no longer the only reality when it comes to divorce. Divorce, like many things in our society, has evolved. Although there are still those that involve a courtroom battle, there are also parents who go through divorce in a relatively respectful manner with the knowledge that they will continue a relationship as parents even while the end the relationship as a married couple.

Parenting post-divorce has also evolved. There are still those who find the two-home scenario works best, but there are also those who are choosing a different path.

One of those paths is nesting. Nesting is a form of co-parenting that allows for the children to stay in a family home. Instead of the children moving from home to home to spend time with each parent, the parents are the ones to move. This trend to shift the burden that comes with moving from home to home to the parents instead of the children is growing in popularity. Advocates argue it helps to better ensure continuity of school and extracurricular activities while removing the stress that can come with setting up a schedule to exchange the children.

Parenting experts believe that this can be a good situation for children as it shows that the parents are willing to “go the extra mile” for their children after the divorce. Although the benefits of a nesting arrangement are many, it is not the right option for all families. This is unlikely to work well for those going through a contentious divorce. Even those who are part of a relatively amicable split may not find this to be the right fit. Questions to ask before choosing nesting to help determine if it would work in your situation include the following.

#1: Budget.

Nesting is not the cheapest option. In addition to the cost of the family home, each parent would likely have their own, separate residence. Granted, this would not need to be big enough for the entire family or even in the same school district, but it is a second property. Check to make sure you can afford a second property before moving forward with nesting.

#2: The daily grind.

It is important to think about how you will meet the needs of the daily schedule. Consider how to handle tasks like grocery shopping and general house maintenance. A detailed plan that sets out clear expectations can help to reduce the risk of discord while nesting.

#3: Timeline.

It is helpful to discuss an ideal timeline. How long do you plan to have a nesting arrangement? Until the children finish high school or leave the home? Afterwards, what happens to the family home? Does one parent retain ownership or is it sold, and the proceeds split?

These are just a few considerations to discuss when putting together a divorce settlement agreement and parenting plan. It is also important to note that nesting is just one form of co-parenting. An attorney experienced in divorce matters like these can discuss nesting and other co-parenting options to help better ensure you choose the path that will work for the future of your family.