You have likely heard of joint custody, where you and the child’s other parent share legal responsibility for the child and, usually, the child stays with you part time and the other parent part time. Split custody, on the other hand, is a situation in which your two (or more) children’s living arrangements are split between you and the other spouse. For example, your 10-year-old son may live with you while your seven-year-old daughter lives with the other parent. The court usually frowns upon split custody for a variety of reasons. The average North Carolina family that has children has more than one. In fact, the average is 1.75 for families that do have children, according to the Census. We understand that there are many ways that child custody can go, and split custody may or may not work for you and your children.
Sibling Relationship is Lost
With a split custody arrangement, the sibling relationship between the two children would be lost or severely limited. The children would likely not see each other very often, even if you and the other parent had visitation with the other child on the weekends or if their time together with the same parent overlaps occasionally. The North Carolina court usually believes that it is in both children’s best interest to live together and, if joint custody is an option, to move between the two households as a pair instead of individually. During divorce, or any time of despair or uprooting of normal life and routine, a sibling can be the most beneficial part of a young child’s life. According to The Only Child Project, and reported in the Huffington Post, “Without a sibling to share the burden or ease his pangs, an only child’s experience of divorce is significantly higher than other children.”