There are a number of different ways that divorcing parents in California can help provide some stability for their children. For starters, they should avoid having their children change schools when so many other elements of their lives are in flux. They can also try to keep routines, expectations and discipline the same in both households. In addition, parents should help their children keep relationships with relatives on both sides of the family.

To minimize upheaval for their children, some parents are going a step further with a custody arrangement known as “nesting” or “birdnesting.” With nesting, children stay in the family home while the parents rotate in and out from it and another residence, usually a shared apartment nearby. While most experts say birdnesting can work in limited circumstances, they generally recommend that the arrangement last no longer than three to six months.

Birdnesting means that children do not have to make any immediate changes to their environment, and this can be helpful. However, if the arrangement goes on for too long, they may be misled into thinking that their parents might reconcile. Sharing spaces also increases the likelihood that parents may run into conflict as well.

No matter what type of plan parents put into place during and after divorce, it should be based on the best interests of the child. This may mean that parents will need to set aside their own conflicts to focus on the child. Exes could use the parenting plan to make agreements about what rules will be consistent between households and any other potential parenting concerns. An attorney can help make sure that the plan works well for everyone involved.