Divorce can be traumatic for children.  Each child has a different knowledge level of what divorce means.  Each child processes divorce differently.  It lies with the parents to do what is in the best interests of the children during a divorce.  In recognizing the substantial impact divorce has on children, divorcing parents have started using a different transitional strategy called nesting.

Nesting requires the parents to agree that it is in the best interests of the children for the children to remain in the home for the duration of the divorce.  This provides children with consistency, although altered, during the transition through divorce.  The parents then rotate on a set schedule to live with the children in the house.  The children have one home, one bedroom, one set of toys, and one familiar routine that the parents revolve around.  This strategy requires the parents to work cooperatively and adapt to the new “normal,” instead of forcing drastic changes on the children.

While this solution may seem ideal, it does not come without its own unique complications.  There is still the issue of having one parent versus two.  Each parent may have his or her own way of parenting, and each parent may adjust the children’s routine.  Sometimes the parents want to be done with the other parent, and the interaction that can occur through nesting is not ideal.  The emotional toll that nesting can take on the children and the parents can be the same as if one parent completely moved out of the home.

Nesting also comes with the significant financial impacts of paying the mortgage for the children’s benefit, continuing to pay every day expenses, covering the cost of an added apartment or long-stay hotel, and paying legal bills.  Often the reason nesting fails in a divorce is because the financial burden gets to be too much.  Therefore, nesting is suggested as a short-term solution, rather than a long-term solution.

In an attempt to alleviate the traumatizing effects of divorce on children, nesting can be a good transition strategy.  However, nesting needs to be done the right way and with the focus being appropriately set on the best interests of the children.  If both parties are looking for a settlement early in the divorce, without extensive exchanges in documents and regular court hearings, nesting may be the appropriate short-term solution to transition through a divorce. To speak to an attorney, contact our Sioux Falls, Sioux City, or Omaha office today.


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