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What is a nesting arrangement, and is it right for you?

Divorcing parents of minor children must deal with a number of important issues in addition to the standard property division issues. Custody, visitation and support are three major and often complicated matters to figure out.

Nesting is an emerging parenting time arrangement many parents today are trying. This solution has both benefits and drawbacks. Speaking with your lawyer can clarify whether it is a good option for you and your children.

How it works

Under the nesting model, the children continue living in what has been the marital home while the parents take turns sharing it with them according to a set schedule. Some couples use this as a temporary arrangement during the divorce process, while others make it permanent.

Emotional benefits for the children

For many kids, nesting can help maintain the continuity and stability they need. They are already going through a major change as their parents divorce, so getting to remain in familiar surroundings and avoiding the upheaval of a move can benefit them emotionally.

Better communication

Some couples find that taking turns in this communal space can make communication easier. If you find face-time with your ex-wife tends to devolve into negativity, leaving messages in a specific area of the house can be a better way to pass on necessary information.

Financial considerations

Financially, nesting can cut both ways. On the one hand, this means continuing to shoulder some of the finances for the shared home while maintaining your own separate place to live. On the other, under a traditional arrangement, you would be having the children at your place. You would thus need a bigger place, in addition to furniture and other necessities for the children. 

Scheduling issues

Another issue to consider is whether coming and going to the shared house will adversely affect your work schedule. You and your ex-wife will need to consider the practicalities of ensuring seamless transitions every time.

Emotional challenges

Some divorcing couples may have a level of hostility that would make sharing a space, even in this limited way, stressful and impracticable. Such an atmosphere can negate any potential emotional benefits the children may gain from remaining in their home.

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