Divorce need not necessarily uproot your kids

Holding down a full-time job, parenting and navigating divorce proceedings all at once can be extremely stressful. There are ways to minimize your stress, however, especially when it comes to issues such as property division or future parenting plans. Such divorce topics often intersect; for instance, you and your former spouse will have to decide where your children will live once you are no longer married.

For some, such decisions will necessitate selling a house. Others may choose to take a closer look at a rising trend known as nesting. Ultimately, you know what is best for your children; however, reviewing experiences of other Florida parents who have gone through similar situations may help you determine your most viable options.

How does nesting work and what are its pros and cons?

Studies show that children fare best when their parents divorce if they are able to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives and also spend ample amounts of time with both parents. The following information explains the nesting process and both positive and potentially negative aspects of such arrangements:

  • One of the biggest perks to nesting in divorce is that your children wouldn't have to move. In fact, they are the only ones who wouldn't have to move as you and your former spouse would agree to find separate living arrangements then take turns living with your kids in the house you shared in marriage on a rotating schedule.
  • The children may benefit from being able to stay in the home they are used to as well as the same school, sports groups and circles of friends. They also would not have the added stress of shuttling back and forth between your new home and that of their other parent's or from trying to keep track of school supplies and homework, etc., when switching houses all the time.
  • You may like the idea of not having to sell your house as this can be a major headache in divorce. You would need to determine how mortgage payments will be handled moving forward; that is, unless you already paid your house off during marriage.
  • A possible negative to a nesting arrangement is that you would incur the added cost of securing other living accommodations when it's not your turn to live with your kids.
  • Nesting can also be a bit awkward if you or your former spouse remarry or enter a casual dating relationship.

A main incentive for choosing nesting may be to provide structure, routine and consistency in your children's lives as they adapt to life following your divorce. Nesting is by no means a foolproof way of preventing parenting problems as you move on in life, however. That's where court orders can help. The court's ultimate ruling provides the layout for your future parenting plan, and as long as you and your former spouse adhere to an existing court order, major problems may be kept at bay.

If a question about Florida law arises or you are facing a particular problem related to nesting or an existing post-divorce custody arrangement, you may do as many other parents in similar past situations have done by seeking support from an experienced family law attorney.

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