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What Is Split Custody In Florida Family Law?


Co-parenting after divorce is easier for some families than it is for others.  In some cases, it is obvious what kind of time sharing arrangement works best for your family, based on your children’s schedules, as well as yours and your ex-spouse’s.  Therefore, some couples are able to formalize the details of their parenting plans, and the judge only has to sign off on the parenting plan when finalizing the divorce.  More commonly, though, it takes the work of lawyers, and even a trial, to figure out details such as who is responsible for transporting the children from one parent’s house to the other, which parent has the final decision about orthodontics, and even where the children will spend Black Friday and the Fourth of July.  In some cases, though, there simply is no single solution that works for everyone.  This necessitates a unique parenting plan for each child.  This is sometimes called split custody.  A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you develop a separate parenting plan for each child, if this is appropriate for your family.

Different Parenting Plans for Different Siblings

These are some situations where it might be appropriate to divide your parenting time differently for each child:

  • There is a large age difference between the children. For example, if the older child is a teenager and the younger one is a baby, the older child’s timesharing schedule will be bound to the school calendar, but the baby’s will not.  Split custody will give each child alone time with each parent, and the older child will not feel forced to babysit her younger sibling at Mom’s house and at Dad’s house.
  • One child’s special medical needs restrict that child’s schedule but not a sibling’s schedule. For example, Big Sister spends six consecutive weeks with Dad in the summer, but Little Sister meets with a therapist on weekdays year-round.  Mom’s work schedule allows her to transport Little Sister to and from therapy, but Dad’s does not.  Therefore, Dad has parenting time with Little Sister on weekends only, even during those parts of the summer when Big Sister is with him all week.
  • The siblings have a very adversarial relationship with each other. If they are left alone together, they will get into fistfights or worse, and they antagonize each other even when parents are present.  The parenting plan allows each parent to spend one-on-one time with each child, while minimizing the time the children spend together.

If your co-parenting situation is more complicated than most, a family law attorney can help you draft a parenting plan that is right for your family.

Contact Schwartz | White About Co-Parenting in Unique Circumstances

A South Florida child custody lawyer can help you and your former spouse create the best possible home environment for your children, even if it means that your children spend very little time with each other.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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