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The pros and cons of nesting after divorce

Child custody and home ownership are two of the most contentious areas of divorce. Some couples are lucky to figure out an agreeable arrangement for just one of these. However, there is a solution that addresses both issues at once, and it is called nesting.

Nesting is letting children stay in a home at all times while the parents take turns living with them according to the parenting time schedule. The parent who does not have current visitation lives somewhere else. This arrangement focuses on the children’s needs, but is not for everyone. Here are the pros and cons to help you consider if nesting is right for your family.


Nesting comes with the most benefits for the children, reports Psychology Today. They do not have to shuttle between households and adjust to new surroundings. They can remain in the same school and participate in other extracurricular activities, maintaining familiarity during a time of so many changes. It is a viable solution for exes wishing to cooperatively co-parent and limit the effects of divorce on their children. It also saves money on having to buy duplicate items for each household in the traditional post-divorce setup.


The disadvantages to nesting mostly affect the parents. It can be costly to maintain both the shared house and separate apartments. The unconventional living arrangements can also have consequences for property division, taxes and other related matters. If you are considering this option, be sure to consult with a family law attorney first to review how it will affect the divorce order.

Also, nesting is not a good choice for parents who cannot get along. Sharing a house, though not at the same time, can still lead to familiar arguments over chores, bills and the like. It can also present problems once either of you begins dating again. For this reason, it may be wise to only try it temporarily until the children transition to life after divorce.