February 25, 2021 | Divorce

Nesting During Divorce Or Separation: Is It Right For You?

For all parties involved, divorce or separation is never easy. Even when the decision is made in the best interests of the children, the consequences of separation can often be agonizing for them as they adjust to their new situation. One solution that can reduce the stress often experienced by children during this difficult time is known as ”  nesting  ” or ”  parent-suitcases  “. As the title suggests, this is a temporary arrangement in which each parent takes turns looking after the children at the family home . Instead of kids having to pack their bags every week and move from house to house, they can stay in the comfort of the home they know.

There is certainly no one right way to approach “nesting” and it can differ from family to family. Sometimes parents do this for a few months, while other times it will last longer. Often, parents will live with friends or family during the “rest” periods, while other times they will rent a shared apartment to take turns living there. However, for all parent-suitcases, this is the following common goal: both parents involved are committed to providing a stable and loving environment for their children during a major transition period.  Parents want children to continue to feel safe and free from the conflict that is often present in the decision to separate.

For children and parents alike, nesting offers children the chance to gradually adapt to changes in family dynamics. They can continue to live in the same routine and house that is familiar to them.

For parents, nesting gives them more time to think about their options and make important decisions about the next steps (selling the family home, finding a new home, etc.).


It is important to note that “nesting” is not for everyone. Both parents really need to be willing to put all animosity aside for the sake of the children. Putting aside all hostilities is no easy task and requires a mutual commitment to communicate effectively and to respect each other in the process. If children continue to be subjected to conflicts, the objective of “nesting” is obviously not achieved.

For nesting to work, both parents will need to develop a mutual plan that works for both of them. For example, they will have to determine a schedule specifying when each will be in charge of the children at the family home. The plan will also need to address finances and other difficult topics such as new spouses.

While nesting comes with many challenges, the benefits are apparent. For example, during their time at home, each parent will have the opportunity to connect with their children on a whole new level. All their energy will be devoted to their children, which will inevitably strengthen the bonds. From a budgetary point of view, nesting can also be beneficial in helping to temporarily reduce expenses by spreading costs to the family home.

However, above all, the best interests of the children must be the priority and this is the primary objective of “nesting”. This temporary arrangement requires a lot of self-reflection on what you may and may not be comfortable with.

If you think nesting might be an option for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’ll be happy to guide you through the process!