Your kids are all different ages. Now that you’re going through a divorce, you want them to have some control over what happens in terms of physical custody, but you also know what you and the other parent think is the right arrangement.
Your youngest children may not care where they go, but your two teens have strong opinions. One, 17 now, is ready to go away to college and doesn’t want to have a custody schedule at all. They’re busy working, seeing friends and participating in school events. The younger teen can’t drive yet, but they’ve stated their preference to live with their father most of the time, since his home is closer to the school.
In both your and the other parent’s opinion, you should have custody of the younger children during the week. Does that mean you should have custody of everyone, though? What about the older children’s opinions and wishes?
Sometimes, split custody is an option
This might be a good time to talk about splitting up custody for a while. If your older children are comfortable being at their father’s home, for example, and the younger children can be with you, then you could split custody and allow them to stay in those places during the week. Then, you could alternate weekends, so the siblings could all see each other at that time.
Other times, split custody may not be the right choice. Maybe you don’t want to split up your children, or maybe what your kids want isn’t what’s going to work for you and the other parent. In that case, you may want to sit down with your children and go over the plan you and the other parent think is best. They may disagree, so listen to their reasoning and then decide if any changes need to be made.
Custody decisions are harder with children of multiple ages. It is necessary to set up a parenting plan and custody schedule, though, regardless of the ages of your minor children. The court will want to see your plan and make sure you know where your children are at all times.