Some parents may not like the idea of a traditional parenting solution that involves their child going back and forth between parents. This is especially true when the children are younger, as they may need some time to adapt to new parenting arrangements. Under these circumstances, you might consider a non-traditional option, like nesting.
As this article notes, nesting is an arrangement where children remain in the matrimonial home after their parents separate or divorce. The parents then move in and out of the house - or "nest" - in accordance with their parenting schedule.
When might it work?
Advocates of this type of arrangement say that it can minimize disruption for children during a possibly challenging time. It can also alleviate much of the strain and anxiety children might experience when they move between parents' homes. Further, it can be easier for parents to both plan and be present for events like birthday parties and trick-or-treating.
Therefore, it could work for parents who respect each other, communicate relatively well and have their children's best interests at heart.
When might it not work?
Nesting likely won't work for parents who do not get along or communicate effectively. If there is no trust or if even one person cannot respect the other person's space or take care of household duties, sharing the "nest" will likely be unsuccessful or last for a shorter period of time.
It is also important to note that nesting is more expensive than traditional parenting arrangements. If you cannot afford to pay for the "nest" as well as a second home or apartment for the other parent to live in during non-parenting times, it would be wise to consider other solutions. If you are fortunate enough to have friends or family members who can offer space to the parent who is not in the home with the children, this arrangement can become more cost-effective.
Keeping all this in mind can be crucial as you consider your options for parenting after divorce or separation. It is also important to understand that nesting is not the only alternative to a traditional parenting arrangement.
However, finding unique solutions tailored to fit the needs of individual families and children can take patience and cooperation. As such, families wishing to examine non-traditional options would be wise to consult a non-traditional lawyer, mediator or a collaborative family lawyer to explore the possible solutions and create a plan that works best for the entire family.