A relatively new concept is emerging in the world of divorce known as “nesting.” This is where, following a divorce, the kids stay in the marital home and the parents are the ones who move around each week. The name “nesting” makes sense given that the parents are in essence maintaining a nest for their children.
For instance, imagine a situation where a mother and father have two kids and raise them in a family home for many years. Then, when the kids are almost teenagers, the parents decide to get a divorce. This can obviously be very difficult for the kids who have grown up in one place and now have to split parenting time between two new homes, perhaps every other week or even more frequently. Some modern parents have sought to lessen the emotional burden on their kids by purchasing or renting new homes for themselves and then basically taking “shifts” at the former marital home, i.e., each parent will alternate living at the marital home with the kids during his or her respective parenting time. During the time parents are not at home with the kids, they live in a separate dwelling, which can either be on their own or rotated with the other parent.
One obvious pro of nesting is that it causes less disruption to the children’s lives, given that they get to remain in their familiar surroundings and near their neighbors and friends. Additionally, some may argue it is more respectful to the children, since it is the parents, not the children, who found themselves unable to live together. A handful of parents may also find that nesting is the fairest, most reasonable allocation of property, given that both parties have contributed to the purchase and maintenance of the marital home for so long. Moreover, for families that choose nesting, the kids don’t get to, and indeed don’t have to, choose which parent’s house to go to, which may be a good way for the parents to retain control after a divorce.
On the other hand, the cons of nesting are obvious. For instance, many parents may not have the means financially to accomplish such a result, and others may be utterly opposed to sharing a home, even structurally, with their ex. But for families who live in close proximity, have sufficient financial resources, and believe they can effectuate a cooperative, amicable divorce, nesting may be the right solution.
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