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What is nesting and is it right for our kids?

The most common custodial arrangement after a divorce is co-parenting. This is because children do best with both parents involved in their lives, whether the parents stay married or not.

However, running the children between two separate households can get very hectic and stressful. This is why some families are choosing to move forward with nesting. According to Psychology Today, nesting is when the kids stay in the same home and the parents rotate in and out.

Whom does nesting benefit?

Nothing can be very beneficial for children, since the adjustment period is often less stressful. Particularly if the family resides in a high cost of living area and it is unlikely that one parent will be able to maintain an expensive household alone, nesting can help ensure that the kids stay in the same neighborhood, same school district and maintain the same social circles.

For younger children in particular, nesting means that all of a child’s toys and possessions stay in the same area and there is no chance of leaving a beloved toy or necessary medication at the other parent’s house.

What are the negatives?

Nesting only works when both parents can cooperate to a high degree. If you and your ex-spouse cannot stand to be in the same room together, it is unlikely a nesting situation will turn out very well. Many parents struggle to keep communication civil with an ex-spouse for normal co-parenting, and nesting is much more challenging.

Keep in mind that you do not need to be best friends with your ex-spouse to have a functional nesting relationship either. So long as you can keep civil communication that is open and direct, nesting can be a good arrangement either for the long term or short.