Is nesting realistic in your situation?

In cases of divorce with minor children, nesting, also called bird-nesting, is one option that some higher-income parents consider. It is when the parents decide to keep the children in one home and rotate out. So, instead of the children going to a different home every week or every month, it is their parents who do that.

However, even for those couples with extremely high financial means, nesting may later become too complicated to maintain.

Each situation is different

It could be that, financially, you are already confident that nesting could work out. Maybe you already own two or three homes with ease and know it can be done. However, if you are unsure, it helps if both you and your co-parent run the numbers from different angles and think about how scenarios could play out several years down the road. What happens if one of you gets in a serious relationship or remarries and wants to live full-time with your new spouse?

The both of you also need to agree on issues such as payment for groceries, pet vet bills, making appointments for a parent’s “off” week, leaving the house clean before the other parent arrives and so on.

Time ranges can vary

Nesting may make more sense in cases where one parent lives far away or out of state and visits for weekends only or every other weekend, something like that. He or she stays in the house with the kids while the parent who primarily lives there gets a hotel for the weekend or stays with friends/relatives. With this approach, the children do not have to travel as often, nor do they have to travel as unaccompanied minors. Nesting might also be preferable for only a few months or a year or two after the divorce while the children adjust or get a little older.

In other words, nesting can be a flexible setup that does not necessarily require 50-50 custody divisions or a long-term commitment. It is not for everyone, and only those couples who work well together and trust each other should try it. Even then, it can sometimes hinder their ability to move on emotionally.