Increasingly, “nesting” is being used as a temporary parenting arrangement during divorce proceedings and sometimes after a divorce is finalized. Nesting is when the children remain in the marital home and the parents alternate time in the home and time in another location. In cases where the parents have one week on one week off arrangements, this means that one week the children will be in the home with mom one week and with dad the next week.
Nesting works best when the parents are cooperating with each other. It also works best when both parents feel very strongly about not disrupting the children’s routine. This is because a nesting arrangement allows children to maintain the same morning routine, extra-curricular activity schedule, and neighborhood friendships. However, it is more disruptive for the parents who will need to live in two places and cooperate with the housework in the marital home.
Nesting requires preparation and planning as well. The household bills will need to be split, the groceries will need to be replenished when they run out regardless of whose week it is. Some nesting parents keep a separate account in which they both deposit money to use for household purchases. It is important to consult with a financial professional about your needs during a nesting arrangement.
Nesting also requires an explanation to the children- they may have unrealistic hopes of reconciliation because they still see both parents coming and going from the home. Both parents will have to have another place to go to on their “off” weeks. This is expensive and exhausting to parents who may feel like they are in a constant state of moving- something that often is not discussed (but should be) when it is children who must travel from one home to another.
In the article “Nesting- What is it? Is it Right for Us (http://www.collaborativepracticemarin.org/cpm-blog/nesting-what-is-it-is-it-right-for-us) the authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages to nesting, as well as steps to take to prepare for a nesting arrangement.