Will Courts Separate Children?
One parent is often awarded custody or, where there is joint custody, one parent will be the
primary residential parent. Court’s will determine which parent the child will reside with is in
accordance with the best interests of the child. Unless there are extenuating circumstances courts rarely split siblings in divorce. As the primary concern of the court is the best interests of the child, the court views keeping siblings together as the ideal choice.
A judge will not separate siblings simply because it suits or accommodates one parent or the other. Further, while the court is under no obligation to consider requests made by the children to split custody, if a child is old enough and has a legitimate reason to want to live with one parent over the other, the court may take this into account.
Courts will look at the stability, comfort, support, caretaking and safety the child has in their home. While certain circumstances may exist where parents or children request the court separate siblings, in most case it is not a possibility. Divorce and custody battles are hard on everyone, especially children and courts are hesitant to act in a way that will add to the stress, including awarding split custody.