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Split custody is a form of joint custody and refers to a child custody arrangement in which the children are essentially split up, with some of the children living more with one parent, and some of the children living more with the other parent.[1] Split custody is generally chosen because it creates a situation in which children do not have to constantly travel back and forth between their parent's homes and it creates a situation in which siblings that don't get along can be separated.[1]


Split custody arrangements are criticized for a number of reasons.[1] One such reason is that the siblings are separated from each other, which also has the negative aspect of eliminating the emotional support they give one another.[1] Additionally, in this form of arrangement, this effect could be compounded by the fact that they have one primary parent, which has been shown to cause distress in children.[1][2][3]

Other forms of custodyEdit

  • Alternating custody is an arrangement whereby the child/children live for an extended period of time with one parent, and then for a similar amount of time with the other parent. While the child/children are with the parent, that parent retains sole authority over the child/children.
  • Bird's nest custody is an arrangement whereby the parents go back and forth from a residence in which the child/children reside, placing the burden of upheaval and movement on the parents rather than the child/children.
  • Joint custody is an arrangement whereby both parents have legal custody and/or both parents have physical custody.
  • Sole custody is an arrangement whereby only one parent has physical and legal custody of a child.
  • Third-party custody is an arrangement whereby the children do not remain with either biological parent, and are placed under the custody of a third person.

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Webster Watnik (April 2003). Child Custody Made Simple: Understanding the Laws of Child Custody and Child Support, 16–38, Single Parent Press. URL accessed 25 September 2011.
  2. Lerche Davis, Jeanie Joint Custody Best for Most Children. WebMD Health News. WebMD, Inc.. URL accessed on 27 September 2011.
  3. Peterson, Karen S. Joint Custody Best for Kids After Divorce. URL accessed on 27 September 2011.
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