As your divorce proceeds, it begins to get more contentious by the day. Now, even the kids are fighting amongst themselves. Some are clearly stating preferences to live with one parent while the others want to remain with their other parent.
You never thought you would ever be in this position, but you are actually considering a split custody arrangement where all the children will not live under the same roof. Is this a viable solution — or a big mistake?
Short answer: It could be both
The first thing to understand is that the courts traditionally do not favor such arrangements for nuclear families where all the kids are biologically related to the divorcing spouses. Of course, for “yours, mine and ours” families, where one or both parents brought children from other relationships into the marriage and then the parents had one or more children of their own, split custody arrangements are much more common.
Understand the underlying motivations
Why are you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse even considering this option? Do you have a teen who is constantly butting heads with one parent, or a special-needs child who will do the best living with whichever parent has been their primary caregiver? Or perhaps you have two kids who spend every waking moment tormenting one another and fighting and want to give both a little breathing room during such a chaotic time.
All of the above could be considered rational justifications to petition the court for split custody of the kids. But keep in mind that depriving your children of growing up together with shared childhood moments and memories could also be doing them a grave disservice.
Explore all options before making your decision
Examining each custody option can help you and your co-parent devise the best parenting agreement possible to allow your children to thrive.