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What is nesting and how can it help our children?

Divorce itself is difficult, but figuring out life after the ink dries on the paperwork is just as challenging. One of the most difficult aspects is figuring out exactly how you will parent with your ex-spouse after your divorce.

A joint custody situation is common for families in Virginia post-divorce. However, moving children between two households constantly does not work for all families. Families who find that the traditional living arrangement does not suit them are currently experimenting with a new living arrangement: “nesting.”

What is nesting?

Nesting flips the traditional joint custody arrangement on its head. Rather than the children moving between one parent’s house and the other parent’s house, the children stay in the same place. It is the parents that do the moving in a nesting arrangement. This is where the name comes from: the children stay in the “nest” while the parent birds move in and out accordingly.

What problems does this solve?

If you have a special needs child, nesting may be a safer choice. Particularly if your child is reliant on medical equipment or medications, forgetting something when moving the child between households can potentially be a fatal mistake.

Many families have children who are resistant to moving frequently. It is not uncommon for teenage children in particular to protest this vehemently; this can cause numerous interpersonal problems for the family. Nesting allows the children to stay in the same space. For many families, nesting is a good Bridge arrangement to allow the children to graduate school from a familiar school district. Then, the children can leave the “nest” as they go off to college or start jobs.