Split custody is a type of custody where siblings go into the primary custody of different parents. For example, if a couple has three children, two may go to live with their father while the third stays with the mother.
It pretty much goes without saying that judges don't like this kind of set up for most families. It can loosen the bond between sibling groups and even put them at odds with one another.
Are there benefits to split custody arrangements?
There certainly can be, even though there are many emotional and relationship considerations to keep in mind. For instance, if you have two children, one who is a newborn and another who is 12, the 12-year-old child might do better with the father and the newborn with the mother.
Why? The older child can get sleep, go to school and get help with schoolwork without having to worry about fighting for attention. This can work if the child is still able to see the sibling regularly and this is a short-term arrangement to allow for a better split in parental responsibilities.
This can also be a good decision in cases where children don't get along. For instance, if a pair of siblings are constantly fighting or trying to cause physical harm to one another, it would make sense to separate them into different households to reduce the number of conflicts between them.
Special needs can also play a role in split-custody cases. If one parent is better equipped to provide for a child with special needs, then it can be the right reason to place the child in that parent's care.
Finally, if children want to live with different parents, then that can be a good reason to allow it. Of course, there are other factors to consider, but if there is no issue other than where a child wants to live, then it's worth considering if splitting custody is the right option.
Split-custody cases can be difficult for judges, because they have to weigh the best interests of your children against the harm that can be caused by separating them. If this is an arrangement you want to seek, it's a wise choice to bring documentation, evidence and support for your request. It may be in the best interests of your children to separate into different homes, and you should be able to prove that to a judge.