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You and your spouse divorce: Can you still share a home?

When you got married, if someone were to have told you that you'd one day be divorced but still sharing a home with your former spouse, you'd likely have thought it was a crazy idea. Now, here you are, however, many years later, facing decisions regarding whether to uproot your children and enter the challenging process of transporting them between houses or allowing them to continue living where they've lived during your marriage. The idea posed earlier in your marriage doesn't sound so crazy anymore.

In fact, so many people have come on board with this idea that has come to be colloquially known as the nesting process. If maintaining stability in your children's lives as they adapt to your divorce is a high priority to you, you may want to consider this option.

How does it work and what are its benefits?

Deciding where you and your children will live and what your parenting plan will be after you divorce is obviously one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your lifetime. Your situation is personal and unique; therefore, what works for someone else may not be the best suited option for your own family. The following list provides basic facts about the nesting process that may help you determine if it's something you wish to pursue further:

  • The basic idea of the nesting process in divorce is that your children keep living in the house your family shared during your marriage.
  • You and your former spouse would take turns living in the house with your children.
  • When it's not your turn to reside with your children, you'd obviously need someplace else to live.
  • It's already been mentioned that nesting can provide stability after divorce that children often need to thrive.
  • Nesting can cut down on the amount of shuttling you would have to do if your kids lived part time in a house with you and part time in a different house with their other parent.
  • If you're worried about the stress of having to sell your home, this option may help you avoid that altogether.
  • Nesting also provides easy communication access between former spouses as you can simply leave notes and messages, when needed, in a central location in the children's house.

As with all child custody arrangements, there may be a few things about nesting that do not appeal to you, such as the added expense you'd incur when having to rent or buy another residence for yourself while still paying mortgage and maintenance expenses on the home you shared during marriage. If you can talk to someone who has successfully navigated the nesting process, it might help you determine whether it's a good choice for your family.

Also, either in your planning stages or the actual implementation of your nesting plan, you and your former spouse may run into obstacles if you disagree about an important issue or one accuses the other of not adhering to a portion of your agreement. In such times, the best means for swift resolution to a custody problem is to ask a family law attorney for help.

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