A divorce is hard on everyone in a family, and often it’s hardest on young children. Thoughtful parents going through a divorce try to protect their children from the emotional fallout of a divorce, but there’s only so much they can do to shelter them from the disruption of their routine when the parents have decided to stop living together. Early on in the process, some children feel very disoriented by a parenting plan that involves spending part of the time at one house and part at another.
One way around this problem is known as nesting, or sometimes “bird-nesting.” Rather than having the child move from one parent’s house to another, this type of arrangement keeps the child in one home and has the parents take turns staying there with the child.
Everything in its right place
From the child’s point of view, nesting is much easier. They don’t have to move from place to place, carrying their belongings with them. Instead, they get to stay in the same comfortable surroundings, in their own bed, with their treasures around them.
To minimize the disruption, some parents will set up this nesting arrangement in the same home they had been living in during the marriage. Others will find a home that is convenient for all parties.
Strengths and drawbacks
Nesting isn’t the best approach for everyone. It may require a level of co-ordination between the parents they are not prepared to give. And, of course, it can quickly get expensive for the parents to pay for an extra home. Even the best nesting situations are on a temporary basis. Still, many parents make nesting work, and this option may be in the best interest of the child.
Many legal aspects of divorce are technical and routine, but there’s also a lot of room in the process for creativity. Parents going through a divorce can speak to an experienced attorney about ways to craft a parenting plan that meets their needs and the unique needs of their children.