When you get divorced, your children may have trouble adapting to switching between two households. Moving between two homes can be disruptive for your children’s social lives and emotional well-being.
Some families try a unique strategy calling a “nesting” divorce at first – to give their family the most stable environment possible. It might be a good way to help your children cope immediately after your separation.
How does a nesting divorce work?
Nesting means that instead of your children moving between two places, you and your ex would split up time in the family home. One of you would always be with your children while the other stayed somewhere else – usually at an apartment that isn’t too far away.
The idea is for everyone to have a sense of stability after the divorce. Your children won’t have to move all their belongings between two houses all the time, plus they can stay in the same school and see their friends.
Gauging the pros and cons
Experts say that nesting can be good for children – but it may also create more problems down the road for both parents and children. Sharing a living space might lead to you and your ex fighting more. For example, if keeping the house clean was an issue between you two, it will probably keep being a source of conflict.
Your children might feel less stress if they don’t have to move around all the time – but it may negatively impact how they process your divorce. Most children of divorce wish that their parents would get back together. Seeing you both stay in the same house can give them a false sense of hope.
Is nesting a good idea for your family?
Successful nesting divorces seem to have two key components: cooperation between both parents and keeping the nesting period short-term. If you and your ex fight all the time, sharing a home probably won’t help your children that much. If nesting goes on for too long, your children might get the wrong idea and think the separation is temporary.
You and your ex both want what is best for your children after you divorce. When choosing how you will share custody, a nesting divorce may help your children adjust to their new living situation.