How nesting helps minimize disruption in divorce — from the woman who wrote the book on it

Divorcing Well

Leanne Townsend is the founding partner of Townsend Family Law. Each month, our team sends a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights to help you navigate family law challenges.

We often assume children are resilient, but it is important to recognize that the upheaval of separation and its knock-on effects can significantly challenge their emotional well-being.

Parents looking to minimize the adverse effects of their split on the children are turning to a co-parenting technique known as nesting, where the children remain in the family home and the divorced parents take turns living there.

On a recent episode of the Divorcing Well podcast, Leanne Townsend spoke with Beth Behrendt, author of Nesting After Divorce: Co-Parenting in the Family Home

Despite the challenges faced by the parents in implementing and communicating it to others, Beth says this co-parenting arrangement provides stability and consistency for children of divorce.

Parents considering a nesting arrangement should create strict guidelines on living rules, divvying household responsibilities, maintaining privacy and more.

To explore whether nesting might work for your family, check out the episode for Beth’s practical tips and suggestions.

Listen on AppleSpotify or wherever you download your favourite podcasts.

Anxiety, loss, and guilt: Understanding the emotional journey of teens in divorce

Teenagers caught in the turbulence of divorce often face a whirlwind of emotions. Their world is turned upside down, and they commonly struggle with anxiety and feelings of loss, abandonment, and guilt.

In her recent blog, Leanne Townsend examines how divorce can impact a teenager’s sense of identity and the potential disruptions to their social and academic lives due to their stage of development and increasing independence.

Teens can experience anxiety, a sense of loss related to the dissolution of their family unit and feelings of abandonment. These emotional struggles can manifest in their current relationships and have a lasting impact on future relationships.

Divorce can also hinder their academic performance, according to U.S.-based psychologist Sharlene Wolchik, perhaps due to stress and feelings of instability.

However, with the right tools and support, teenagers can become stronger and more resilient through a divorce. The takeaway for parents is to be emotionally available for their teens and prepared to seek professional help, if necessary. 


Dating with kids: Building healthy relationships while supporting your children’s well-being

Navigating the dating scene after divorce can be daunting for single parents.

Experts suggest moving slowly as you consider whether your new partner is a good fit for your family. Timing is crucial, as children need time to adjust to the divorce. Introducing a new love interest too soon may disrupt their healing process.

An article by Patheos shares some useful tips for parents to ease kids’ experience:

  • Your children’s needs may clash with your desire for intimacy.
  • Give children time to adjust to the split before dating.
  • Mind your children’s emotional needs.
  • Set a good example of healthy and responsible dating.
  • Enjoy dating when your children are with their other parent.

By approaching dating thoughtfully and considering your children’s needs, you can build new relationships sensibly and minimize the potential challenges for your family.


Highlights from Divorce Explained

Every week, Leanne Townsend co-hosts an Instagram Live show with family lawyer Steve Benmor, where they discuss issues on the minds of those who are divorced or divorcing. Here are the topics from a couple of recent shows. Click on the photo to check out the full episode.

Untangling family debts in separation and divorce

When a marriage ends, the financial homework begins for both spouses. In this episode, we look at how family loans are treated in divorce and what happens when a financial gift turns out to be a loan.

Do kids have a say? Understanding their role in divorce

In law, all decisions concerning children are made through the lens of a child’s best interests. But does that mean children have a say as to which parent they live with after a split? We break it all down in this episode.

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Looking for more information?

Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics?

Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Leanne Townsend Lawyer and Divorce Coach
Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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