Split Custody and Divided Custody Arrangements
Split custody and divided custody are two types of child care arrangement that may be offered in a divorce where there are children involved. In a spilled custody arrangement, there are multiple siblings, but different ones live with different parents – so, for example, the daughter may live with the mother, and the son may live with the father.
This kind of split custody arrangement is not common. With split custody and divided custody, the desire is always to make sure that the children’s best interests are observed. It can be hard for children to be split from their parents and their siblings, so it is not common for split custody to happen. It could happen, however, if one of the children neds to go to a particular school, or has health care arrangements that a specific parent is better able to follow. If one child is working through mental health issues, or if two children both have very demanding, but different, physical health care needs, then again a split custody arrangement might be a good option because it would man that each child would have the care that they need.
With older children, there may be a strong wish for a child to stay with a specific parent, and this is something that is also taken into account – however, it’s important to understand that children do go through phases where thy prefer to spend time with one parent over another, and when that happens it is important that the child’s wellbeing is put first. Just because a child says that they do not like a specific parent, it does not mean that they should not live together. In many cases, staying with the parent that they ‘dislike’ is better because it means that it will allow them to also stay with their siblings, and stay in the same school with their friends. With that said, teenagers do sometimes need the same sex parent for the bonding that they provide, and if the split has been amicable and the parent in question is responsible and capable of proving a good family home, then it could make sense for you to try that.
Financial considerations are important, too. If you have all of the children, then you will be entitled to financial support which should, in theory, make it possible to care for them all well. However, in some cases, families prefer to split the load of caring for the children. If the only motivator for doing this is money, then it may be unwise, but it is something that parents do consider.
Try to involve the children in the decision, and make sure that there is regular contact between the parents and kids because this is what will allow you to enjoy a stable and healthy relationship. If you do end up in a position where split custody or divided custody happens, then try to spend some time together as a family unit to keep a good relationship.