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Should you ever consider splitting up the kids in divorce?

When you split up with your spouse, one of the most critical decisions you will make is the custody arrangements for your minor children. Custody arrangements can be as diverse and complex as the families involved in the divorce. But one option that is rarely used is splitting the kids up to live with different parents.

Of course, in blended ‘his-mine-and-ours” families, the kids will have to be separated. Barring extenuating circumstances, each will live with their biological parent, with the biological child(ren) of the spouses moving between both parent’s homes.

But, there are circumstances where it might actually be a viable option to split up the bio kids, with one or more living with mom and the other(s) staying most of the time with dad. Let’s explore.

One child has special needs

If you have a special needs child, it might not be possible to duplicate the costly assistive devices and accommodations in two homes. The child may do best remaining in one home full-time with special visitation arrangements made. In some cases, if the child has a mental condition that causes them to lash out at their siblings either verbally or physically, it might be healthier for all to put some distance between the kids for now.

There is great acrimony between a child and one parent

Sometimes, a teen will have a conflict with one parent but share a good relationship with the other. In those situations, to preserve a semblance of harmony in the home, the teen may live full-time with just one parent while their younger siblings transition in and out of both homes.

How to handle splitting up the kids

The challenge here is to ensure that the children remain connected and a presence in each other’s lives. Your San Jose family law attorney or your children’s pediatrician may be able to recommend a child therapist who can work with your family to derive the best solution for all.