Sharing custody usually means that one parent has the children while the other does not. However, there are many less-common forms of shared custody that can work well for certain modern families.
Split custody is a unique parenting arrangement that involves each parent in a family taking responsibility for specific children, possibly with some exchanges and meetups to get all the siblings together at once.
There are many times when a family might benefit from split custody, but the three below are among the most common reasons that parents decide to divide the custody of their children rather than simply share it.
When you have a very large family
The more children you have, the harder it is for one parent to reliably provide for all of their needs simultaneously. If your family has more than three or four children, split custody might be a good arrangement because it lets each parent care for the children without overwhelming either of them.
When you have a child with special needs or disciplinary issues
If you have multiple children and one who requires much more attention than the others, splitting custody might be best for everyone.
The child with special needs or who already has emotional or behavioral issues will likely need more support than their siblings during a divorce. Having one parent devote all of their energy to caring for that child ensures that they have their needs met while also protecting the childhood experiences of their siblings.
When there is a big gap in ages
Did you and your spouse have a change of life baby when your other children are already all in middle school or older? When there is a huge gap in age between the children, especially if there is an infant in the family, split custody can be a good solution for the first few years after a divorce.
Some families also consider split custody because certain siblings don’t get along or to keep children primarily with the parent of the same gender or sex during puberty and adolescence. Exploring all of your possible custody options can help you come up with a solution that truly works for your family in your upcoming divorce.