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Split Custody

Split parenting or split custody is the situation where “there are two or more children of the same parents, where one parent is the custodial parent for at least one child of the parents and the other parent is the custodial parent for at least one other child of the parents. In a split parenting case, each parent is the custodial parent of any child spending more than 50 percent of the time with that parent and is the noncustodial parent of any child spending more than 50 percent of the time with the other parent. A split parenting situation shall have two custodial parents and two noncustodial parents, but no child shall have more than one custodial parent or noncustodial parent.” O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15 (a)(21).

Split Custody is where one parent has custody for at least one child, and the other parent has custody of the other child(ren).

For example, if two parents had two children, a daughter and a son, a split parenting arrangement would involve one parent (let's say the mom for this example) obtaining primary physical custody of the daughter while the other parent (dad for this example) obtains primary physical custody over the son. A sample parenting plan in this type of arrangement may have the daughter living with her mother during the week while the son lives with his father during the week.  Typically, the two children would have joint visitation every other weekend with one of the parents to ensure that they would still have significant interaction with each other growing up.

  Practice Pointer - Split Custody is Not Favored by the Court

This type of arrangement is generally not preferred by a court.  In fact, keeping the children of a relationship together is a factor in determining the appropriate custody arrangement in a case.  That said, under certain circumstances, this type of arrangement may make sense for the parties and could possibly be the most beneficial for the children involved.


  Want to learn more - see our article - Are split parenting arrangements harmful to children
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