Divorce throws the lives of minor children into complete upheaval. Their world as they know it is completely different, and the changes keep coming. Having to travel back and forth between their home and an unfamiliar one, or even two unfamiliar ones, can be painful and disorienting. Children might feel insecure in an already unstable time and transient as if they do not truly have a home.
Nesting, a practice where parents take turns living in the family home with the children, can prevent this while offering a sense of security to help the children with their transition into new lives. However, there are many factors to consider before deciding to pursue it.
Successful nesting requires cooperation between parents. Evaluate your ability to work with your former spouse amicably. Regular and open communication is important for coordinating schedules.
Nesting is not always financially feasible. While it may reduce the disruption for children, it also means maintaining multiple households, one each for you and your spouse as well as the family home. An additional home comes with additional costs, such as rent, utilities and furnishings.
Depending on the age of the children, nesting may not be viable in the long term. As children age, it becomes both less effective and less necessary. If your children are older, it may not be worth the financial implications of maintaining the households for the short time they leave. On the other hand, if the children are very young, that means you will have to maintain the family home and a separate household for a longer time. There may also be implications for if you want to move in the future.
According to Harbor Psychiatry & Mental Health, divorce or separation of parents can lead to mental health issues like depression, behavioral problems and academic decline. Nesting is a potential solution for helping children adjust to their new situations. However, it is important to consider finances, long-term viability and other factors before doing it.