Your divorce has the potential to cause serious disruptions to your children’s lives. Yet, no matter you and your ex-spouse’s reasons for your split, you will want to mitigate its impact on them by any possible means. If you are both remaining in the Seattle area after you divorce, whether part-time or full-time, you may wonder if a nesting arrangement would offer your children continuity and stability. While nesting can help some families, it is important to first determine if it makes sense given your family’s unique circumstances.
How nesting works
A nesting arrangement will involve you and your ex-spouse keeping your family home after your divorce. In doing so, you and your ex-spouse will take turns living in it during your respective parenting times. Both of you will also have individual residences to return to when you are not spending time with your children. These may be homes of your own, a shared residence you alternate between or living arrangements that you work out with family or friends.
Nesting is often a short-term solution for divorcing parents. But by keeping the family home, even for a short time, your children will not have to shuttle back and forth between two different residences. All their belongings will remain in one place, and they will be able to stay at the same school and within the same community that they belonged to during your marriage.
When nesting makes sense
Nesting makes sense for some families more than others. Its success for yours will likely depend on whether you and your ex-spouse can communicate and cooperate with each other. Furthermore, you must both be able to put aside any hard feelings toward each other to focus on your children. If you are unable to work together or do not see eye-to-eye on parenting matters, or if one of you has a history of violence, substance abuse or neglect, then nesting is not a viable option for your family.
If you and your ex-spouse decide that you can make nesting work, you will need to establish a plan. In it, you will want to detail how you will rotate time in your family home. You will also want to outline how you will deal with parenting matters, financial matters and potential conflicts related to nesting. An attorney can help you evaluate your plan and make sure it will be sound and workable.