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Living in the same house after a Pennsylvania divorce

There seems to be a growing trend of couples "nesting" even after the marriage is over. The concept behind nesting is that even if a couple separates or gets a divorce, the family remains intact. The parents essentially live as roommates while sharing custody of the children.

Some Pennsylvania couples may consider remaining under the same roof for financial reasons. Most of the time, however, it is parents not wanting to disrupt their children's lives that keeps them living in the same house. Children are able to stay in the same school and the same home and are not shuttled back and forth between the parents. Nesting seems to work best for parents with joint custody.

Obviously, in order for this arrangement to work, the couple has to be able to get along. One nesting couple lives by their calendars and texting. They have grown comfortable enough to share meals together and often pass each other in the hallway.

It may not be possible for this arrangement to last forever, however. Either party could become involved in a serious relationship. In other cases, old behavior patterns resurface over time that could make the arrangement intolerable for everyone, including the children.

A growing number of parents are dissatisfied with the conventional, and some would say outdated, child custody arrangements of a traditional divorce. Nesting is one way that couples are changing what it means to be divorced while raising children. If this kind of arrangement breaks down, however, it may become necessary for Pennsylvania parents and ex-spouses to take a more traditional and separate approach to child custody.

Source: The Boston Globe, Separated but living under one roof -- for now, Kara Baskin, Dec. 25, 2013

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