Divorce alone is a difficult process, even if you are on good terms with your ex-spouse. However, if you are also in a joint parenting situation, things are much more complicated.
Shuttling the children between two separate living situations can be very stressful, particularly if the children are older. In response to these challenges, some families are experimenting with so-called “nesting” arrangements. This arrangement is when the kids remain in the same residence and the parents rotate as if they are adult birds caring for babies in a nest.
What are the benefits?
In some situations, moving children between two separate households may be difficult or an impossibility. An example could be a child with special needs who must have specific medical equipment with him or her at all times. Moving this child between two households could prove difficult or even dangerous.
Another example is older children. While younger children generally tolerate moving between Mom and Dad’s house frequently, older children may find this much more wearying. A nesting arrangement could be a good compromise.
What are the drawbacks?
If you are considering a nesting arrangement, you and your ex-spouse absolutely must be on good terms and have good communication patterns. Even though you will no longer be living together, both of you will need to continue to maintain the family home. This means continuing to pay on bills and do joint housework and repairs.
Most nesting situations are temporary, as it is likely that you and your ex-spouse will want to maintain separate households at some point. But, nesting is often a very useful stopgap.