When a marriage ends, each member of the family is affected by the divorce. Parents often fight for child custody, leading to difficulties with finding a living situation that works for the entire family. Those contemplating divorce may wonder whether it will force their children to be separated from each other. In order to further understand this subject, one must understand the various types of custody agreements, the frequency of split custody, and when split custody may be a good option.
To project how a court examines custody agreements, it is important to understand the difference between physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to a child’s primary residence; where they tend to sleep, eat, and reside. However, legal custody refers to the ability to make legal decisions on the child’s behalf. Some of these legal decisions include medical care and plans for education.
Split custody refers to the unique agreement of one parent having custody of one or more children, and the other parent having custody over the remaining children. Essentially, this agreement permits the practice of splitting siblings up into separate primary residences. Parents tend to have visitation rights with the children not living in their household. Similarly, children often have planned visitation with their separated siblings.
Fortunately, split agreements tend to be rare occurrences. When considering custody, the court attempts to determine what the best outcome is for the children. Most courts find that separating siblings contributes to trauma that already occurs in divorce. It can also be beneficial for children to have their siblings, since it promotes healthy bonds. It can be difficult for parents to present a compelling reason for split custody to the court. It may require requests from the parents and the children in the family. Courts may also permit split custody if each child prefers to live with a different parent.
Split custody may be rare, however, there are instances when it may be beneficial for a family, including:
If you are fighting for custody of your child, please consider contacting the services of a Monmouth County child custody lawyer at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. Our lawyers work closely with our clients to reach the best possible legal outcomes. If you are interested in speaking to one of our lawyers, contact us online or call us at 732-493-9400 for a free consultation.
Located in Eatontown, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Ocean Township, Fair Haven, Eatontown, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Middletown Township, Wall Township, Sea Girt, and Spring Lake.