One of the most difficult tasks when a marriage is over is creating a parenting plan to determine where children will live, who will make decisions for the kids, and how often visitation should occur with a non-custodial parent. There are many different arrangements parents can agree on when they negotiate on this issue with the help of a child custody attorney. Parents should try to come to a consensus whenever possible. If they can’t, then a judge is going to need to make a choice on how to divide up parenting time. Judges consider the best interests of the child standard, which is explained by Child Welfare.gov.
In many marriages, couples have more than one child. When you have two or more kids, you may consider a custody arrangement where the children are separated and some kids live with mom and the others with dad. This arrangement, called a split custody arrangement, is not common but it is possible. Before a split custody arrangement is chosen, however, it is very important to understand the legal guidelines a judge will use to determine custody and to consider what is right for your family.
A Scottsdale, AZ child custody attorney at Singer Pistiner, P.C. can provide invaluable guidance to parents who are going through the process of separation and divorce and who are trying to work out a parenting plan that makes sense for their needs. Give us a call as soon as you decide to separate from the other parent of your kids so we can get started helping you.
Does a Split Custody Arrangement Make Sense for Your Kids?
As soon as you decide to separate from your children’s other parent, you and the other parent should begin working on creating a parenting plan together. You should each be represented by a child custody attorney who will advise you on your interests and who can facilitate negotiations. You may also wish to bring in a mediator to help you come to a compromise if you can’t agree on custody on your own.
You and your ex may decide that splitting up the kids makes sense for your situation. If you do make this choice and present your parenting plan to the court, the court usually will respect your wishes and make the agreement legal. However, courts typically do not like split custody arrangements because it can be a big change to children to stop living with both a parent and sibling at the same time.
Further, if parents split up custody of children, this could mean that children never see each other. For example, if a daughter lives with mom during the week and visits dad on the weekends and the son lives with dad but visits mom on the weekends, the children are always in different houses. This can be damaging and courts may be concerned about the decision to split up the children. Still, if both parents believe this is best, courts are usually not going to prevent the parents from making the parenting plan they have chosen.
If you don’t agree on custody, however, the court will consider different factors to decide how custody should be split- and courts will almost never divide siblings into different houses. As a result, split custody arrangements in litigated custody cases are extremely rare.
While a split custody arrangement is not common, there are limited situations in which it might be possible this is best for a child. If the siblings are particularly combative or even violent with each other, separation may be a good option. If one or more of the children needs to work through physical or mental health issues, this could also be a situation where that child is placed with a parent who can give focused attention to his or her needs and the other child or children are placed with the other parent. Older children may ask to live with different parents, and their wishes should be considered, although not necessarily respected in every case. In these and other situations when split custody is the best choice, it is important to make sure children do get at least some time with their siblings.
How Can a Child Custody Attorney Help You Protect Your Children?
Protecting your children during the divorce process is of paramount importance. At Singer Pistiner, P.C., we understand the law and we know how essential it is for you to successful argue for the custody arrangement you believe is best for your children. Let us put our legal knowledge and experience to work for you. Give us a call at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online if you are separating in the Scottsdale area and want a child custody attorney you can trust to care about your case and work hard for your family.