Determining child custody is often one of the most difficult decisions that divorcing people have to make. When there's one child, they may fight over who gets primary custody of that child. Unfortunately, when there is more than one child, some parents opt to separate the children and each take one or more of them.
This may seem like the best solution for the parents. They may even think that it's best for their kids. Perhaps they have a boy and a girl and each is closer to their parent of the same gender. However, in fact, splitting custody like this can be very damaging to kids.
Divorce is nearly always difficult on kids. No matter how much love and reassurance they get from their parents, kids will likely suffer from confusion, anxiety and loneliness. Having a sibling to go through it with can make a great deal of difference in how they cope with the changes to their family.
Having one parent move into a different home is difficult enough. To lose a sibling as well simply compounds the problem. If two children are split between their mom's and dad's home, they essentially become only children.
Even siblings who may fight constantly may miss having their brother or sister around. That's especially true at a time when their parents may be wrapped up in their own problems and less able to give their children the time and attention they need.
If you are considering splitting custody of your children in the divorce, it's essential to consider the impact that this arrangement will have on them. They may say that they'd be thrilled to finally have a room to themselves and have their sibling out of their hair. However, the reality may not be what they anticipate at all.
Your Florida family law attorney can help you sort through the various custody options and help you seek the one that you feel is in your children's best interests.
Source: DivorceCare for Kids, "Separating Siblings in the Divorce," Linda Ranson Jacobs, Nov. 24, 2017