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January 17, 2019

One of the most difficult things about divorce when you have children is determining where they should live. A new trend in co-parenting attempting to solve this issue is “nesting” also known as “bird nesting”. Nesting is when a couple keeps one home for their children and each parent takes a turn living in it. During the time parents are not at home with the kids, they live in a separate dwelling, which can either be on their own or rotated with the other parent.

Nesting works best when parents are able to separate their co-parenting responsibilities from their previous marital conflicts, and remain amicable and cooperative as they confer about continuing household arrangements and the children’s needs. Both parents need to be prepared to maintain a certain level of consistency of purpose, discipline, and child-raising techniques to make it work well. Parents must be able to communicate clearly and peacefully. Ground rules must be clear and each parent must closely stick to the agreed-upon schedule. Over time, as parents settle into a new lifestyle, more flexible arrangements are possible. A clearly drafted co-parenting plan and negotiated schedule is essential.


While nesting may be easier on the kids, it is financially difficult on the parents. Most people are unable to afford an extra apartment or house. This is especially difficult in family law cases because parents are often forced to sell the family home in order to fairly divide community assets. With nesting, this often allows families the time to wait for the right “seller’s market” maximizing the sale of the house.

Divorce is difficult on children and “nesting” allows children to remain in their existing home. This custody plan enables children retain their daily routine and provides stability. Nesting is not ideal for everyone. (For different points of view see about birds nest co parenting and bird nesting You continue to share a physical space with someone from whom you are separating and the management of your household still falls to you as a team at a time when communication is difficult.


There a many things that children require during divorce: structure, acceptance, safety, freedom from blame or guilt, and most importantly stable parents. Whatever decision you make with regard to child custody, come up with a plan that is in the best interests of the children.
Tierney Law Group is a Bay Area based law firm specializing in divorce and family law matters.

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