It is very common to end up with a co-parenting arrangement after a divorce. This is because co-parenting is usually in the best interest of the child. Even if the parents divorce and no longer cohabitate, having both parents actively involved with raising the child is usually best.
However, moving the child between two separate households can be stressful. This is why some families opt for a nesting arrangement. According to Psychology Today, a “nesting” arrangement is when the child stays in one house and the parents rotate in and out.
Is nesting for us?
Co-parenting can be difficult for a variety of reasons, but a nesting arrangement does require a high level of communication and trust between the parents. If you and your ex-spouse are on acrimonious terms, nesting may not be a good option.
Nesting is better for ex-couples who have good communication patterns and a desire to keep the child’s environment as steady as possible through the divorce. Nesting is generally less disruptive than moving the child between two houses, particularly if the parents cannot afford to live in the same neighborhood after a divorce. Nesting may be the only real option to keep the child in the same neighborhood with the same friends and the same school district.
How long does this situation last?
Usually nesting is a temporary situation. Most commonly, nesting will last a few months. This is usually enough time for arrangements to settle after the divorce and allow the parents to set up independent households.
However, it is possible for nesting to last several years. In some cases, the family decides to nest until the child moves out.