Divorcing parents often ask about "nesting" – the child custody/parenting plan where the kids stay in the family home and the parents take turns moving in and out. The idea is to keep the children in their same home to minimize the disruption to their lives. Meanwhile, the divorced parents either share a separate residence, or each has their own.
In a recent New York Times article, one woman described how the plan works for her family. She concludes that the set-up requires a lot of juggling, but over all, she was happy that they had chosen that option.
Her piece generated a lot of comments, and I was struck by readers' take on her article. Some commenters suggested that the nesting option is great, but really only available to wealthy parents who can afford multiple households. Others thought it might work for the short term, but could get old fast – especially as the parents start to date. Some readers thought it made sense to focus on the impact on the kids, while others felt it underestimated children's resilience and ability to adjust to a new family dynamic.
At our practice, Westfield Mediation, LLC, we focus on helping our clients create an individualized parenting plan that makes sense for their family. For families that want to try nesting, we explain the pros and cons, so that clients can consider whether it would work for them. Of course, the parenting plan that you start out with, doesn't have to be the plan forever. For example, some clients want to try nesting, and then as the family changes and adapts, they want to try something else. We help create parenting plans that can evolve as your family life does.