Nesting plans after divorce, also known as “birdnesting” is currently a hot trend in divorce. Nesting is when both parents keep the marital family home, and their children reside there all of the time. In this co-parenting arrangement, the parents rent a one-bedroom apartment, or in some cases two-separate living spaces, for them to live in individually when it is not their parenting time. 

So How Does it Work?

There are many different types of Nesting arrangements. One example could be:

Parent A and B have a joint custody agreement. When it is Parent A’s turn to take care of the children, they move into the marital home. While Parent A is in the family home with the children, Parent B moves into the rental space. When it is Parent B’s turn, the couple swaps. This arrangement continues while the children stay in the marital home 100% of the time. 

As previously stated, there are many different scenarios in which Nesting occurs. Certain arrangements include a single shared space, two separate owned spaces, or one individual living with a family member or friend, and the other living in their own apartment. 

Financial considerations are clearly significant, but in most cases, the nesting arrangement is structured for the short-term. Even wealthier couples report struggling to maintain a long-term nesting arrangement. There are many pros and cons to nesting, however, if nesting is the option chosen for your divorce, ensure that the timeline is near-term. Anything longer than 6-months may give children the idea that reconciliation between the parents is on the horizon. 

Pros of Nesting:

Divorce is a difficult process for families to navigate. The most significant of these are the challenges posed by managing the emotional well-being of the children involved. Separation can be incredibly traumatizing for children from a psychological perspective. Nesting allows the marital home to be kept intact, which offers a softer transitionary period for children, where they get used to seeing only one parent at a time, before splitting up into two residences. 

Maintaining the marital home, while sharing a single apartment or living space on a rotating basis, is a financial consideration that makes nesting more attractive, in the immediate post-divorce time period. Having two entirely different households with utilities, maintenance fees, and other costs, can make divorce incredibly burdensome. A short-term nesting period, therefore, offers many financial benefits, in addition to emotional ones. 

Cons of Nesting:

When a divorced couple separates in a conventional way, there is a clear division of assets and liabilities. A standard divorce allows for a ‘clean break’. Thus, the financial implications of co-owning a marital home post-divorce completely blur the lines of separation. Paying bills, financing repairs, and future homeownership, are issues called into question now that there are no longer joint-funds present. Other financial considerations include the deduction of mortgage interest and real estate taxes or the payment of child support. 

Beyond financial considerations, there is also the matter of privacy and emotional separation. If the nesting arrangement is such that a single living space is shared on a rotating basis, and so is the marital home, are beds shared? Are belongings locked away or intruded upon? Will the emotional separation be stunted once parents are sharing a home no-longer as husband and wife? 

To Nest or Not to Nest?

There are many considerations when choosing whether or not to enter into a co-parenting nesting agreement with your ex-husband or ex-wife. One thing remains clear, this arrangement is not black and white, but rather highly complex. Statistically speaking, your marital home is likely the largest asset you own in your marriage. Managing that asset through a nesting-arrangement may be an optimal route for your children, and even you and your significant other.

Nonetheless, it is clear that real estate is a core consideration in a divorce. Nesting, buying or renting a secondary property, eventually selling the marital home, amongst other transactions, require not only expertise but an empathetic approach to understanding the complexities of family. PC275 is a family brokerage, that understands how to best help you navigate the complexities that arise in a divorce. 

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