Typically, when two parents share custody of their children after a divorce, they divide the time by having the children come live with each of them in turn. The father has his own home and the children live with him during the week, for instance, and then they go stay with their mom on the weekends.
Nesting, on the other hand, is an arrangement that allows the children to have just one home. They never have to move. Instead, the father from the example given above would live in that house with them during the week, then he would move out on the weekends, allowing the mother to move in.
Can you and your ex make this work?
There are clear advantages for the children when you set up something like this. They get more stability, they really feel like they have a home and they always have all of their favorite clothes, toys, video games, etc.
However, there are some challenges for the parents, such as:
- You and your ex both need second homes outside of the “nest.”
- You have to decide how to pay for the children’s home. This includes not just the mortgage but also taxes, upkeep, maintenance, etc.
- Having three homes total just increases the overall bills.
- You have to share the family home and the spaces within it. Even though you’ll live there at different times, you’re still sharing bedrooms, living rooms, etc.
- You have to decide who will do the chores around the house and how to divide those up.
- You and your ex need to be committed to working together and communicating often.
In short, nesting is much more like still being married. You’re not, but you do have to address plenty of issues that married couples also have. If you and your ex are on good terms and willing to work together, this is great. If you argue and disagree at every turn, nesting can be very stressful or even impossible. Plus, there’s the financial component, and it’s not a feasible option for everyone.
Looking into your options
This shows you why it’s wise to look into all of your legal options, not just the traditional ones. Considering them carefully can help you decide what’s best for your family.