When spouses who share minor children decide that it is no longer in their best interests to remain married, they understandably worry about the ways in which a divorce will affect those children. Some parents focus on making the transition from one family home to two households as fun and connected as possible. Others try to keep their children’s school and social routines as consistent as possible so that their children take comfort in these stable forces. Others opt to “nest” with their spouses so that their children are not confronted with the reality of losing immediate residential contact with either parent for an extended length of time.
There is no single “right” way to divorce, nor is there a single “right” way to co-parent. Whatever approach is healthiest for your child is one you should consider embracing. However, because there are both legal and practical challenges associated with every divorce-related approach to parenting, it will generally benefit you to speak with an experienced family law attorney before you commit to a plan of action. For example, if you are considering nesting, there are both potential legal and practical benefits to this arrangement as well as potential legal and practical drawbacks.
Divorce Nesting – The Basics
Nesting is an increasingly popular co-parenting arrangement in which children reside exclusively in the marital home and each parent takes turns living elsewhere so that the children have a stable, single house to come home to. This arrangement can be beneficial both for co-parenting and for certain marital property division reasons. A number of divorcing couples have discovered that they cannot equitably divide their marital property without selling their family home. If both parents continue to reside in the home (subject to a revolving schedule) the house can remain “in the family.”
The question of whether it is a good and healthy idea to engage in nesting as a co-parenting strategy must be answered by each couple uniquely. Some co-parents and children thrive under this arrangement, while others experience little more than an extension of the tension that colored the house during the end of a marriage. Only you and your former spouse can decide whether such an arrangement is both in your children’s best interests and healthy for you both as well.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about divorce, child custody arrangements, constructing a parenting plan or any other issue related to the “legal” side of divorcing, please do not hesitate to connect with an experienced family law attorney today. Too often, individuals make assumptions about their legal reality or plans concerning how their divorce will proceed without first consulting an attorney. Experienced family law attorneys serve as excellent resources, regardless of their clients’ priorities, needs and unique family situations. If you are contemplating divorce, please seek legal guidance sooner rather than later. No matter how you are approaching this life transition, having experienced family lawyers in Bloomington, Illinois in your corner can only benefit you and your family.
Thanks to Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into family law and nesting during divorce.