“I actually still rent that same apartment and go there whenever I’m not in the nest.
“Bill moved out of that apartment about a year after we divorced and rented his own studio apartment for a brief time.
“For the past couple of years – since Covid put an end to his work travel – he stays with his girlfriend when he’s not on parenting duty in the nest.”
Beth says that one of the biggest misconceptions about nesting is how expensive it is made out to be, in fact, she argues it’s far cheaper than a traditional divorce.
“One of the things that attracted us to try nesting was that it was a much cheaper option than buying or renting a second home as soon as we divorced,” she explains.
“We would have needed two homes large enough to house three kids, plus all the furnishings, etc.
“Most two-house divorces I know of the kids’ clothes, toiletries, technology, etc. are basically duplicated at each house to avoid hauling everything back and forth.
“That’s expensive to set up and maintain – and the kids are only in each place half the time.
“Nesting is especially growing in popularity in areas where housing is very expensive.”
Practicality wise the arrangement suits the family perfectly, and Beth says it can be tricky to navigate anyone outside of the family.
“When you start dating, it can be challenging to explain nesting to a new person. Some people may find it confusing or threatening,” she says.
“But I think if you are upfront about it from the beginning – explaining that you do it for your kids, not to try to get back together with your ex – the right person will understand and be supportive of that. Bill and I both have very supportive partners now who have become like part of the family.
“And oh my gosh our arrangement has done nothing but improve mine and Bill’s relationship.
“The problems in our marriage drew energy away from our parenting; even though we tried counseling we just couldn’t fix those.
“Once the marriage part of our relationship was no longer a distraction, we could each be much more present parents.
“And, eventually, we started getting along better with each other than we ever did when we were married.”
Beth hosts a private Facebook group Family Nesting where parents going through divorce can find out more information about having a shared family home.
Her book Nesting After Divorce: Co-Parenting in the Family Home will be available to buy in April 2023.