Divorce is a difficult process, no matter how you go through it. If you have children, the difficulties increase exponentially. Particularly during the first phases of divorce, there is the matter of breaking the news to the children and figuring out living situations in the meantime.
A popular short-term option for divorcing parents is “nesting” or “birdnesting.” According to NBC, “nesting” involves the children staying in the family home while the parents rotate in and out.
What are the advantages?
Nesting can make a great transitory phase. It is likely that both parents will need to figure out new living arrangements after the divorce, and this can take some time. A typical “nesting” arrangement involves the children living in the family home, while the parents swap between the home and a second living situation: typically a studio apartment.
Nesting can help children adjust to the divorce in a “soft” manner. It does not disrupt their living and schooling schedules. It also gives parents the space they need from each other.
What are the disadvantages?
It is generally not a good idea to “nest” for more than six months, even if both parents are on extremely amicable terms. Otherwise, the parents risk giving their children hope that the parents are reconciling. Additionally, it can be difficult for parents to “move on” with their lives if they are continually nesting. Particularly if one parent pursues a new relationship, maintaining nesting may be a fraught experience.
Nesting is a good stopgap measure when going through the initial stages of divorce. It can allow your children to adjust and adapt while lessening stress on the entire family.