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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Post-Divorce Nesting

Brown Bird Design for Time
This week in Time Magazine, there is a story in the "Society" section about a mode of parenting known as, "Nesting".  This is where divorced parents each secure a residence beyond the former marital home; the couple's children remain in the marital home, to "nest".

The theory behind nesting is that it seeks to minimize the sense of upheaval that children of school age often experience during and after their parent's divorce.

Time's Belinda Luscombe speculates that the nesting mode of post-divorce parenting has emerged over the past decade as an innovative version of co-parenting.  It remains rare, however, to get both parents on the same page be able to pull it off.

In the past decade, I have completed nearly 250 divorces and only two of those featured a nesting arrangement.  Of those two cases, one of nests was destroyed, via foreclosure.

On the other hand, the difficult real estate market has forced many divorcing couples to hang onto their former marital home; like it or not.  Nesting would seem to be a viable option.  Usually, however, one of the parents "takes one for the team" and remains in the marital home, or the couple "walks away" from the home to begin their new post-divorce lives under the cloud of foreclosure.

Proponents assert that the nesting arrangement eliminates the continuous shuffling between two homes by the children that comes with a traditional parenting schedule; the parents do the shuffling in a nesting arrangement.  Also, for children of a certain age, the arrangement allows them to continue living and going to school in a familiar environment, their childhood home, while they adjust to their parents' divorce.

Most family court judges look upon nesting arrangements with a certain degree of skepticism, if not outright scorn.  In family court, however, parents are free to make whatever arrangements they desire so long as the judge can be convinced it is in best interests of the children involved in the case.

As a temporary post-divorce parenting technique between two cooperating amiable co-parents, nesting can work.  It very well may provide the minor children with a better opportunity to adjust to the strains of divorce.

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November 14, 2011 at 5:11 AM 
Anonymous Virginia Divorce Lawyer said...

The concept of Nesting is unique, and I appreciate it because often the most major effect of separation happens to the children of family. Through this way, kids can live their normal life.

December 27, 2011 at 1:26 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am remarried after divorcing my first husband. Until recently, the kids had to do the whole move between houses thing. When my husband had to move out of state for his job, it seemed devistating. Now, I know how lucky I am.

It seemed an impossible situation. I could not leave my kids amd move with him. My husband tried to stay, but with no work prospects here he had to go where the paycheck was. I could not never see or spend time with my husband.

My ex and I settled on nesting. The percentage of custody did not change from our original divorce decree, we just re-grouped the days. Now I spend my custody with my kids in the home they have always known. When my ex has custody, I go and live with my husband, and the kids get to stay put.

I think it is working because there is no financial sharing with my ex. The house and all the bills are in my name, and he pays a small suppliment to help with the bills for the time he spends here.

People keep asking me how I can live with this situation, with all the travel, time away from my husband, tolerating my ex in my home...and all I can think of is the kids get to stay in one place. They keep their own rooms, toys, clothes, and even the dog they adore.

Seemingly impossible situations have turned out to be blessings in disguise.

January 8, 2012 at 2:57 AM 
Blogger The Law Blogger said...


Thank you for the thoughtful post on your experience with "nesting". It seems that the model is best suited in your situation to solve a very tough problem. Your circumstances (i.e. with your new husband having to leave the state) are among the most difficult for a family to face after they have been through a divorce. What a credit to both you and your ex-spouse that you can recognize the value to the children.

We here at the Law Blogger especially like that the kids even get to keep their beloved dog. There is nothing like a dog to provide children with a sense of security and love.

Keep the faith. The children are only young for a very brief moment in time. Sounds like you have made the best of a bad situation.

January 8, 2012 at 6:39 AM 
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, nice post. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas, its not just entertaining but also gives your reader knowledge. Good blogs style too, Cheers!

- The co-parenting

September 5, 2013 at 11:45 PM 

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