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Most parents want to give their kids the love, attention and support they need. However, doing so can be challenging after divorce.

That’s especially the case if there’s more than one child in the picture. Depending on the circumstances, parents may consider a split custody option. This method can allow parents to care for their children in a way that fits both of their needs.

Defining split custody

Split custody is when spouses with multiple kids parent the siblings separately. For example, if parents have two children with substantial age gaps, the parent with a more flexible work schedule may take sole custody of the younger child. That way, they can provide the appropriate attention and support younger kids need. If the other child is an adolescent, the parent with a more demanding work schedule may be a better fit for them. That’s because teenagers are typically more independent and can care for themselves.

How else can split custody be helpful for kids and parents?

Split custody can provide value to parents and kids in other ways too. Here are a few other instances:

  • Spouses have a child with behavior issues and one parent is better at handling them than the other.
  • One child doesn’t want to move houses or switch schools because they have strong ties to the community.
  • One child plays sports or an instrument and one parent’s house is more accommodating for performing or practicing.
  • One child states a particular preference of who they want to live with while the other doesn’t.
  • One child has a substantial disability or medical condition that one parent has the time and resources to handle.
  • The kids have hostile relations towards each other that goes beyond typical sibling rivalry.

Arrangements can always change over time

Determining child custody can be one of the most draining parts of divorce. If parents decide to go with the split custody option, some may worry that once they finalize their requests, they’re set in stone. Fortunately, that’s not the case. And as their children grow and circumstances change, they can modify their plan to fit their current needs better.