Many parents in California share custody of their children after divorce. A new trend in parenting known as “nesting” or “birdnesting” keeps children in the same home while the separated parents rotate taking care of them. The parents otherwise maintain separate living arrangements.

Parents who are trying this approach often maintain two homes — one where the children stay and one where each parent lives while not staying with the children. Usually, only very wealthy parents who are trying this parenting method are able to maintain three separate households.

The advantage of keeping the children in the same home where they have always lived is that it avoids disruption. Many parents practice “nesting” for a short period of time so that it can be utilized as a transition for the children. It may help them get used to the idea of living in separate homes while a divorce is being finalized. Longer periods of time may inaccurately portray a message that parents are working on reconciliation.

A parent who has legal questions about divorce and child custody may benefit from consulting an experienced family law attorney. For example, parents who have decided to keep their children in the same home while rotating parenting duties and living in a separate space may want to ask a lawyer about how this can affect their divorce. Some states have laws that do not allow spouses to get divorced if they are not living in separate households. An attorney may be able to advise parents about how sharing a household only for the children can still be considered legal separation.