Martha and Ted are nesting with their two teen-age children. Ted moved out four months ago, and Martha still lives in the family home. Ted returns to the family home to care for the children on his “duty parent” time, which is two evenings during the week and one overnight every-other-weekend. Recently Martha complained about Ted coming into the family home (her home now) and not being a respectful guest. She worried about him invading her privacy and wanted him to remember that this was now “her home”.
Nesting can truly be tricky under the best of circumstances. In this case, Ted was waiting to get “his place that can accommodate children” once the financial situation is clearer. Martha agreed this was the most prudent plan. So, we split apart two very important issues:
- Privacy — I asked Martha to be sure she kept her private information, mail and paperwork in her personal space (the office or her room) and reminded Ted that all privacy boundaries are in place — even if Martha inadvertently leaves something personal on the kitchen counter — please, do not read!
- Duty Parent Space — When nesting, the shared aspects of the house (kitchen, family room, kids bedrooms, living room, etc.) are all appropriate “duty-parent spaces” and Martha should do the best she can to not intrude on Ted’s duty-parent time IF she remains in the home while he’s parenting. They both agreed that Martha would spend the weekend days and overnight away from the family home.
Both parents recognize the value for the children at this stage of their separation/divorce process of nesting and getting a clear financial picture before creating their two-home family. However, this requires enormous cooperation, respect, and patience.