Is it ever appropriate to split the kids in your divorce?

| Apr 7, 2021 | Child Custody

You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse have been hashing out the details of your pending divorce. But there appears to be one sticking point — the custody of your children. 

Moreover, one of you is suggesting an option that few courts will approve: Splitting the siblings so they do not live together under the same roof. 

Can that option ever work?

While it is certainly unusual, it is not unheard of in the world of divorce and custody cases. But if you truly want to go this route, you better have some ironclad reasons for the split when you present your case to the judge.

The overriding goal of all family law courts in Texas and all over the nation is that custody decisions must reflect what is best for the children. That does not necessarily mean what is best for the parents, however.

What motivates your decision to split the kids?

Courts typically believe that it is in the kids’ best interests to grow up together with their siblings, under one roof and sharing their daily lives. But as with most things in life, there can be valid exceptions to that rule. Some of those include:

  • One child has special needs. Depending on the extent of your child’s disabilities, they may require a great deal of expensive and unwieldy equipment like Hoyer lifts, as well as wheelchair-accessible facilities. It may not be financially possible to duplicate these assistive devices and amenities in two homes.
  • One sibling poses a threat to another. If one child has a mental illness diagnosis that causes them to pose a potential threat to their other sibling(s), this might be the only way to ensure that the kids remain safe after the divorce.
  • The siblings have a very contentious relationship. This one is a bit trickier to legally defend because after all, sibling rivalry is normal and a fact of life. But if the animosity is truly severe enough to affect the quality of life of one or more of your children, it is a possibility that may be broached with the court.

Strategize your custody plans with your family law attorney

Working closely with your attorney can help you developed an effective argument for your plans. It can also give you a better chance of achieving your custody aims in your Texas divorce.