In a traditional Georgia divorce or paternity case, one parent receives custody of the child, and the other parent receives visitation or parenting time. These days, however, more and more parents are seeking more equal access to their children through a non-traditional split custody plan. In this type of parenting plan, each parent has primary custody of one or more of the parties’ children. For instance, the mother could have custody of the parties’ two younger children, and father could have custody of the parties’ oldest child. Typically, it is only when parents are able to reach an agreement that the court will approve a split custody plan. It is a fairly uncommon arrangement that not all judges believe is in the best interest of children.
Some parents may be tempted to request a split custody plan because they believe that doing so will avoid either parent paying child support. This is usually not the case. In a split custody situation, unless both parents have relatively equal incomes, one parent will still be ordered to pay child support, typically the parent with the higher income. Therefore, avoiding a child support order is not a legitimate reason to seek a split custody plan.
You also should strongly consider whether a split custody plan is truly best for your children. Siblings who share a close bond with one another may lose that bond if they separated into two different homes. Although it is not impossible for siblings to maintain their bond if physically separated, it definitely is more difficult. Plus, a child feeling a sense of loss of a parent during the divorce may feel a greater degree of loss if a sibling leaves the home, too.
An example in which the Shaw Law Firm has seen a judge approve a split custody plan includes an older child who wished to live in a specific school district for athletic or academic goals. This plan put the child’s needs first, not the parent’s. If you wish to explore your options for fighting for a split custody plan in your Georgia custody case, the Shaw Law Firm, LLC can assist you. We will evaluate your situation and advise you about the best options that may be available to establish a split parenting arrangement.
Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.