Divorce can be a traumatic time for children, often resulting in long-term emotional and psychological complications. To cope with these problems, more divorced couples are turning to new approaches to remedy a broken home.
One such trend involves children still staying in the same home they grew up in, with the parents taking turns moving in and out of the house to spend time with their kids. This arrangement has come to be known as “nesting” or “birds-nesting,” a reference to how some species of birds also take turns to tend to their offspring in the nest.
But is nesting a viable option for your family? Before anything else, there are several factors to consider.
Property Division, Support, and Taxes
For starters, you have the legal implications of this arrangement. In some states, ex-spouses might not be considered separated if they engage in the practice of nesting. When this happens, your property division arrangement and support orders might be compromised.
Aside from the alimony issues that come from the sharing of a home, you also need to consider the tax issues that may come up when you decide to sell it in the future.
You also have to consider the financial burden of nesting. On top of transportation costs, legal fees that tend to go upwards of $20,000, child support, and alimony, maintaining multiple homes at once is not a financially sound arrangement for many people—divorced or not.
Divorced parents who are practicing nesting have, however, justified the technique by pointing out the positive effects it can have on children.
If you find yourself feeling conflicted about your divorce because of what it might do to your children, nesting can be a way to ensure your children’s needs are the top priority. It won’t be perfect, but they can spend more time with either parent without having to be shuttled back and forth.
Nesting may also be an option for you if you believe that children need both parents to lead healthy and normal lives. Many divorcing couples tend simply want their soon-to-be ex-spouse out of their lives right away. But when kids are part of the equation, the dynamic of the separation changes.
In other words, nesting reduces the feeling of having a broken family—a common cause of emotional distress for many children of separation. Nesting provides much-needed stability at a time when the children themselves feel conflicted about the divorce, to the point that they end up blaming themselves.
While a divorce might be unavoidable, compromising the time you spend with your children need not happen. With nesting, parents can ensure their children can spend a fair amount of quality time with each parent.
If you would like to learn more about nesting and whether it’s a realistic option for your family, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the family law attorney at the Lyttle Law Firm. Contact our offices to sit down for a discussion with family law, divorce law, and child custody law with attorney Daniella Lyttle.