Co-Parenting During a Divorce Through “Nesting”

For those with children, one of the most challenging aspects of divorce is learning how to co-parent together during their separation. For many families, the emotions surrounding the divorce — anger, sadness, frustration, disappointment, and so on — can spill over into their parenting communications. During the divorce, the judge and the professionals working on your divorce will expect both parents to actively work to shield the children from conflict. So, it is important that newly separated parents focus on how to make the transition from one household to two as smooth as possible for the children and avoid conflict during those transitions.

Many couples are still living together with their children in the marital home when they decide to divorce. Living together during the divorce process can be difficult for the parents and can make it difficult for them to avoid fighting and other forms of conflict in front of the kids. It’s important for parents to consider what options they have to separate to keep the peace between them, and protect the kids from additional conflict, while also providing stability for their children during this difficult time.

One option for parents to consider at the beginning of their separation is “nesting”. This is a process where the children remain in the home where they lived with both parents, and the parents move back and forth from the home to another residence. This is usually done on a short-term basis (think six months or so) while the parents are finalizing their divorce. Nesting is generally done in anticipation of dividing the children’s time between two households but provides the family with additional time to adjust to the parents’ separation.

Pros and Cons of Nesting During a Divorce

1. Nesting promotes stability for the children.

Because the children remain in the same home, they do not have the deal with the adjustment of a new home, new bedroom, not having all of their possessions, and the like, which comes with kids having to move between homes. This is especially helpful for younger children, for whom adjusting to a new home, bedroom, and bed could be especially disruptive during the divorce process.

2. It accommodates the children’s daily routine.

3. It eases the adjustment to having divorced parents.

Here are some nesting “cons” to consider as you contemplate your separation:

1. Nesting can be expensive.

2. It can be difficult logistically.

3. Nesting can create added conflict and resentment between the parents.

Consult a Chicago Divorce Attorney for Guidance on Nesting




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