You have two children, and you want them both to be happy following your divorce. You and your spouse have been talking about the challenges of coming up with a custody plan as well as how hard it is to be apart from your kids.
Having two children, one who is 4 and the other 12, has always been a challenge. The older child sometimes needs a break from their younger sibling, and your youngest child often needs more attention. You've both discussed keeping the kids together, but would it be better to separate them, at least some of the time?
Dividing custody: When is split custody a good option?
Split custody happens when two parents share custody on an alternating schedule. For example, you may have custody of your youngest child Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, while you have custody of your older child the rest of the week. This isn't always a perfect arrangement for children, but it can be beneficial in some instances. For example, you might want to consider a split custody plan if:
- The children don't get along
- Your child will have better opportunities when living with the other parent
- Your child asks to live with one parent without their sibling
- Your child has behavioral problems and does better with you or the other parent
- One child requires more care than the other, which requires special focus
Setting up a split-custody plan doesn't mean that your children can't ever live together. For instance, you and your spouse might decide that a plan where your older child lives with you two days a week, the other parent two days a week and then with their sibling the following three days. You can set up a rotating schedule that gives each child time to be with each parent individually as well as providing time for them to bond with one another.
To make split-custody schedules work, you'll need to come up with a custody schedule for each child. You should always make sure there is some time for your children to live together and be with one another, but it may be beneficial to separate them the majority of the time using this method. You and your spouse will need to think carefully about how to build a schedule that is beneficial for your children while still respecting the extra effort that this will require following your divorce.