Child custody arrangements can take many forms. Nesting is one example.
Parents going through a divorce must balance two realities. First, their romantic relationship with their partner is over. The marriage is done. This reality is difficult, but the second part makes it even harder. Parents going through a divorce cannot fully cut this former romantic partner out of their lives because another relationship will continue. The parental relationship.
Parents must find a way to balance separating from their marriage partner while still ideally remaining cordial with their parenting partner. Some are willing to take extra measures to help mitigate the impact of the split on their children. One example: nesting.
What is nesting? Nesting is a fairly new form of child custody arrangement that involves one family home. Each parent takes turns living within the home when taking on the primary parenting role. The children remain in the same home the entire time.
Those in favor of this arrangement state it provides the children with consistency. The children have the same bedrooms, same living arrangements and take the same routes to school. The only difference: which parent is in the home on any given day. Those opposed to the arrangement point out it can encourage the same disagreements that were an issue in the marriage in the first place, potentially building for a more contentious parenting relationship.
Is this successful? It can be. There are situations when nesting is not a good idea. Relationships with an abusive history or with parents that simply cannot have amicable conversations generally do not find success in this type of setting.
Those who had a relatively amicable divorce and are considering a nesting arrangement for the benefit of the children can use the following tips to better ensure success:
- Have a timeline. A recent piece by NBC News notes parents that found nesting successful had a clear end date. Parents could manage the stress of moving from location to location with the fact that the arrangement was for the short term. Some used nesting for a long-term arrangement while others found a short, transient nesting period a successful way to transition into a more permanent arrangement.
- Clearly lists responsibilities. Psychology experts recommend reducing the risk of any disagreement about housework or maintenance by putting together a plan that clearly states expectations of each adult while in the home.
Even those who choose not to implement a nesting parenting arrangement can benefit from the idea of a consistent routine and structure for the children. Parents can aim to maintain similar bedtime routines, rules and expectations for the children - regardless of which house they are in. This consistency can translate to a successful parenting routine for the children, regardless of the custody arrangement details.