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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Split (Physical) Custody

Term Definition Split (Physical) Custody - a form of custody in which the actual time of physical custody is split between both parents, which gives both parents the right to make decisions.
Application in Divorce Split (physical) custody is a form of shared custody. In this routine, both parents have legal custody and share the physical custody of a child, who lives with each of them by turns and on a schedule.

Like other forms of shared custody, this routine presents special difficulties since it entails frequent moves back and forth by the child. At a minimum, split (physical) custody means both parents must have a suitable place to live, provide adequate supervision when no one is at home, maintain reasonable discipline, and give nurturing and affection.

When it is used, split (physical) custody often happens when there are more than one child, and thus each parent becomes a parent of primary residence, Thus, siblings visit brothers and sisters when they move between parents.

These parameters of these arrangements make this custody routine demanding. Moreover, as a rule courts are reluctant to separate siblings. For these reason, this type of custody is not often used.

Split (physical) custody also increases the contact between divorced parents.

See Custody - Legal; Custody - Physical.

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