Can nesting help your children thrive after a divorce?

Nesting is a relatively recent trend among divorced and divorcing parents in Texas who share the family home, taking turns being with their children. As a result, kids remain in familiar surroundings, which can help them better adapt to their new situation.

The parents can stay in separate areas in the home, but most live in other locations. Some share an off-site apartment or house when they are “off-duty,” while others live part-time with family or even friends.

Putting the children first

Research shows children of divorced parents suffer more psychological and behavioral harm when their parents don’t get along. Nesting can give them a stable environment, especially in the early stages of a divorce.

Some of these arrangements only last until the details of the divorce are worked out, while others can last several months or years, depending upon the parents’ post-divorce relationship and the age of their children.

What are the pros of nesting?

For this parenting strategy to work, parents must communicate effectively and respect each other, but the primary goal is their kids’ well-being. Here are some advantages:

  • Creating a stable, loving and peaceful environment for children
  • Quality time for kids with each parent
  • Parents have extra space and time away from their spouse or former spouse
  • Working together during this time can rebuild trust among parents
  • Both parties have more time to work out details of the divorce

What are the cons?

The strategy isn’t always a good idea for many reasons, such as:

  • Being too disruptive to parents who are constantly on the move
  • Being too costly as parents support the family house and one or two other homes
  • Parents no longer trust one another or argue excessively
  • One or both parents develop a new romantic relationship

Steps for successful nesting

While this type of parenting during or after a divorce may potentially be the best option for children, parents have to be on the same page to make it work. An experienced family law attorney can help create a parenting plan for scheduling time with children and detailing how communication and finances are handled in a nesting arrangement.