There are several different kinds of child custody that a judge in a divorce case or custody battle may order for a family, depending on the individual circumstances of that family.
The two most common forms of custody are joint custody and sole custody. The former involves each parent sharing physical and legal custody of the child, with the child spending time with each parent and each parent having an equal say in decisions regarding how the child will be raised. Sole custody can refer to physical or legal custody, and it involves one parent having sole physical custody of the child, sole ability to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing or both.
Split custody is a much less common form of custody. Let’s take a closer look at what it is and what differentiates it from other forms of custody.
What is split custody?
Split custody is a type of child custody arrangement in which one of the parents has sole custody of one or more children, while the other parent has sole custody of the remaining children.
The reason this arrangement is so uncommon is because, in most cases, the judge overseeing the custody case will determine it is in the best interest of all the siblings to keep them together. This can help provide a greater sense of stability, and give them each other to lean on for support and comfort.
Why, then, do judges occasionally make the decision to break siblings up? There are a variety of reasons why this might occur:
- Child’s preferences: One or more children may have strong preferences about which parent they wish to live with, and that could result in the judge placing them with their parent of choice, even if it separates the children. This is more likely to be common for older children, who can make more informed decisions in this matter.
- Siblings not getting along: All siblings fight from time to time, but if there are significant issues with siblings not getting along, a judge may be more willing to split them in custody arrangements. Here again, this is much more common for older children than it is for younger children (think 14 or older).
Judges are often hesitant to develop split custody arrangements for the same reason they can be hesitant to grant sole custody. Numerous studies show it is in the best interest for children to have a relationship with both of their parents. There are more risk factors for children who come from a home with only one primary parent.
Many people also criticize split custody arrangements for separating siblings. This takes away one support system these children have after their parents split, which can be especially damaging at a young age.
To learn more about split custody and the various other types of child custody arrangements, we encourage you to contact an experienced child custody attorney in Lubbock, TX with any questions you have. Get in touch with The Law Office of Rob Biggers today to schedule a consultation.
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Categorised in: Divorce