If you feel like you or your children might not be ready for all the life changes that will come out of finalizing your divorce, there is a way you can try and slow down the process. Keeping your marital home and living in it a little while longer might help create a sense of comfort as you ease into single parenthood.
In fact, both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can continue to share the family home through a nesting arrangement. A bird parent makes trips back to their nest to take care of their babies. Similarly, through nesting, divorced parents will live in the family home, one at a time, to fulfill their parenting time. Meanwhile, their children get to stay put and live full-time in the family home. And while parents are off duty, they live in an off-site residence.
Nesting could be an ideal setup for your family if:
- Future of family home is up in the air: There are many important decisions made during the divorce process. The main one being breaking up with your life partner. Another large one is deciding the fate of your marital home. If you, your ex and your children have grown to love the interior space of your home and the neighborhood and school district have benefited your family, then it might be hard to let go. Nesting allows you to keep the home until you find another location where you can envision raising your children.
- Your children are very young: Having your children pack up their belongings every few days or weeks to exchange homes can create an interruption to their daily routines. Even when co-parents can coordinate on bedtimes or mealtimes between two homes, going from living at one home to having two homes can be a difficult adjustment. Plus, developing solid routines early on in life may positively impact a young child’s social, behavioral and emotional development.
- There is peace between co-parents: If you can get along with your ex, then you’ll probably have a better chance of reaping the benefits of nesting. This is because, even though you won’t be living with your spouse anymore, sharing the space will likely involve seeing each other’s belongings or reminders of one another in the home. Plus, you’ll have to keep each other in the loop about the bills, groceries and other things necessary to run the household.
A legal professional can help you decide if a nesting arrangement might suit your family after divorce.