The only thing more difficult than going through divorce is going through a divorce with children involved. When you are making decisions not just on behalf of yourself but also on behalf of your children, the process can become infinitely more complicated.

Particularly at the beginning of the divorce process, you may be wondering how you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can get much-needed space from each other while also not interrupting the regular rhythm of your children’s lives. According to Psychology Today, “nesting” is a living arrangement that many divorcing families are choosing to help keep their home lives stable as they go through divorce and beyond.

What is nesting?

In a traditional co-parenting situation, the parents each have separate residences and the children split their time between those residences. In a nesting arrangement, the children stay in a single residence and it is the parents that move in and out of the family home as per the co-parenting agreement.

Nesting is very popular at the beginning of a divorce, as it allows the parents to have space from each other without unnecessarily interrupting the children’s routines. Some families continue to keep a nesting arrangement in place after a divorce: a common reason for this is if the family lives in an expensive area and the parents would not be able to maintain separate households as individuals.

Where do the parents live?

Where the parents live when they are not “on-duty” in the family home depends on the individual situation. In some cases, the parents will live with other family or friends when they are not in the family home. And others, the parents decide to set up a separate apartment for the “off-duty” parent to reside in.