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Will Nesting Work for Us?

August 2, 2017  | 
Will Nesting Work for Us? by Clare Piro

{4:24 minutes to read} Nesting is a shared parenting concept that allows the children to stay in the marital home while the parents go back and forth. The idea is that the children will be able to remain in one familiar place, have no concerns about where they are on what day or what they need to take with them. Typically, parents who choose this will be sharing time in the home with the children on an equal basis.

To see if this might work for you, consider the following:

Long Term or Short Term?

My experience has been working with clients who have agreed to do this on a short-term basis for the following reasons:

  • Wanting to separate now, but unsure where each wants to live.
  • Waiting to place the marital home on the market or waiting for a sale.
  • Giving it a year for the children to adjust to not being with either parent full time.

The length of time that you will be nesting may be determined by your tolerance level for the other factors listed below that I suggest you consider. If it’s working for your family, though, you certainly may choose to continue to nest for as long as you wish.

The Cost

In order to nest, you will need to be able to afford to share the costs of the home in which the children reside and, ideally, a separate apartment for each of you. Sharing the home and only one additional apartment could be done, but you need to consider how you each feel about not having any space to call your own.

The Lack of Privacy

This is somewhat alleviated when you each have your own apartment, but you will be sharing the marital home and presumably, the same bedroom you shared when you lived together. You might feel differently about leaving personal items around for the other to see and/or use than you did when you were married.

Significant Others

The longer the nesting, the more this will be an issue. Neither of you may be ready to date initially and will probably agree not to introduce the children to anyone soon after your divorce. But as time passes, you will likely be dating. Can you bring someone to the shared home? What if you are sharing an apartment as well?

Working Together

If you were always annoyed when your spouse left clothes on the bedroom floor or dishes in the sink, keep in mind that these issues will annoy you even more when you’re no longer married. You need to consider thoroughly anything that bothers you and agree upon house rules that you both can live with and actually adhere to.

Reassessment

While I always talk to clients about building into their agreement a review, it is vitally important to have a process to discuss a change if either of you feels that nesting is not working for you or the children. If it’s not working for someone, it’s not working, and that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. You may also consider building in consultations with a child specialist so the children’s views may be heard.

All of these items are important and need to be considered before you make this choice. However, if the benefits of nesting are profound for the children, you may be willing to put up with some inconveniences, or your co-parent may be willing to make some changes, so that you can continue.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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