Parents often express concern about getting divorced not because they’re worried about the relationship, but because they’re worried about the children. They know that divorce is right for them, as adults. They may both agree on that. But they know it can be hard on the kids, who feel like life becomes very unstable.

One reason for this lack of stability is that children have to move when their parents share custody. They spend time at different homes, they spend a lot of time in the car, they never really feel at home in either location and things just get chaotic. Even “little” things like not having favorite toys or books at both homes can be very hard for children.

There is one option that can reduce this impact: bird-nesting. The basic idea is that you keep a central home where the kids live, and they never leave. It’s up to you, as the parents, to shift in and out of the house. Your custody schedule, rather than telling you when to bring the kids to your ex’s house or when to pick them up, tells you when it’s your turn to move in or out of the home.

If a stable home life for the children is your top goal, this will give it to them. However, you must also consider that not all couples can do it. It requires a lot of communication, cooperation and shared spaces. You have to decide if that’s something you and your ex want to deal with or not.

Regardless, this does help to show you how many various options you have and how much there is to consider as you get closer to divorce.