Deciding if nesting in a divorce is right for you

Even if your Virginia divorce is amicable, it still takes an emotional toll on the entire family. Such a significant change makes the situation more stressful for children, especially if they must leave the family home. We often help clients through the process of equitable property division, custody arrangements and spousal support. 

According to Psychology Today, nesting is a term used when parents take turns staying in the family home during a divorce. In this type of co-parenting arrangement, you and your ex move back and forth between homes, rather than the children. Whichever parent is in the house is “on-duty.” 

The nesting plan

You and your spouse rent an apartment or other shared space. When you’re in the apartment, your ex is in the family home, and it is their parenting time. When it’s your turn, your ex stays in the apartment, and you live in the marital home. Despite rotating in and out of the house, you still must have a parenting plan in place. This plan lays out which days you will be in the home with the kids, who gets them on which holidays and various other details. 

The upside

From a financial perspective, nesting can help you save money by renting a smaller space than what you would need if your kids were coming to stay with you. It also enables you to delay deciding whether you keep or sell the family home. Allowing your children to stay put helps them transition to the reality that you and your ex are no longer together. It keeps disruption of their lives to a minimum, as they can remain in familiar surroundings, stay in the same school and remain close to their friends after the divorce proceedings.