For many children, their relationship with their sibling is the more important and most lasting relationship they will ever develop. The essential nature of the relationship makes the question of how the court handles of utmost importance. What happens to the sibling relationship when the children are separated from each other due to divorce? Custody disputes often become very heated. In severe cases, under extenuating circumstances, siblings have been separated. It is commonly referred to as “split custody” even though there is not a legal reference according to California Family Code. In a “split custody” situation, each parent is awarded custody of at least one child of the marriage at all times with the children living separate and apart from their siblings. Luckily, this type of situation, where siblings are split up, is extremely rare. Courts generally acknowledge that it is in the best interest of the child to live with their siblings. Since the court’s main goal in any custody case is to determine the custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child, split custody situations are not a common occurrence. Divorce is already hard on children, and the court goes out of their way to avoid additional stressors. Splitting up siblings would almost always be considered likely harm to the child, which the court goes to great lengths to avoid. According to California public policy, the bond between siblings should be preserved if at all possible. The California court disfavors “split custody” arrangements so much that a custody order including this type of order will usually be reversed. The higher court generally determines that the custody order is not in the child’s best interest and is, in fact, detrimental. If you are dealing with a custody order that is not in your child’s best interest or you need to talk about split custody in Orange County, California, please get in touch with the experienced child custody attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.
Attorney Gerald Maggio