Few aspects of divorce are more contentious than child custody. Generally speaking, unless extenuating circumstances exist, co-parenting is the most popular post-divorce custodial agreement.

However, co-parenting comes with a list of problems. One potential issue is shuffling the children between residences. According to Psychology Today, some parents are opting to “nest” with their children, meaning that the children stay in one residence while the adults rotate out depending on the custodial arrangement.

What are the benefits of nesting? 

Anybody who has children knows that children often come with a lot of literal baggage. Having two sets of everything kid-related can get quite overwhelming, and if a child forgets a beloved stuffed animal at the other parent’s house, chaos can ensue. Nesting means that all of the kid-related items stay in the same place, along with the kids.

Nesting can also potentially benefit families who will not be able to maintain two separate residences in the same neighborhood. Nesting can save a lot of money if the parents can live rent-free with family or friends when not “on duty.”

What are the negatives? 

Nesting requires a lot of good communication between the parents. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your divorce, you may not be able to sustain nesting with your ex-spouse. Additionally, most nesting situations are temporary as usually parents wish to maintain their own separate living environments at some point. However, nesting arrangements can last for several years depending on family situations and needs.

Nesting is not for everybody. It requires a large level of trust on the part of the parents, and often is not sustainable in a “forever” sense. However, it can be a good stop-gap measure in many instances.