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What is Nesting? Is this option right for our divorcing family?

Divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances. It becomes even more difficult when you add children to the equation. You are both doing the best you can under at the most stressful of times. Trying to take care of yourself during this time is hard enough. Yet, you have these sweet children to look out for and they are suffering too. Every alternative you look at reminds you of Solomon splitting the baby. One option that I have seen work and that you may not have even heard of is called nesting.

So, what is nesting anyhow?

Nesting is a post divorce living arrangement where the parents both retain their own residence outside the family home. The children do not move. They stay stable in their home and at their school. The parents are the ones who move in and out of the family home.

When does nesting work best?

Obviously, to choose this option, parents must rise above their own conflict and decide upon a plan that is best for their children. In a contentious courtroom situation this may be difficult because of the divisive, antagonistic nature of litigation. However, if parents can  come to the table and choose to mediate their divorce, options like nesting become real possibilities. Personally, I have seen nesting work when children have been in a family home and at a school for a long time. The thoughts of uprooting the children are upsetting to parents.

Why would parents choose nesting?

Obviously, retaining some semblance of stability during this time of turbulence is a vital necessity. Nesting provides this, in abundance. However, above and beyond this, it teaches your children an important lesson about conflict resolution. This is not a solution you come to lightly. It is a mature decision brought about by parents who have decided to place the needs of their children, even above their own. If parents can make the decision to mediate their divorce, they are farther along this path than those that choose otherwise. It is here, within the forum of mediation, that nesting, and other options like it, come to the table.

Remember, your children are watching you. It is within the family that they learn how to be in a relationship. It is right here and right now that you both are teaching them conflict resolution. You have the power to create something positive out of your divorce. Start with mediation. Through mediation, you might find that nesting is right for your family.