Can Siblings be Separated in Child Custody Cases?

 Posted on May 03, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerIn most cases, courts will strive to keep siblings together. The bond between brothers or sisters is considered an important relationship in the children’s lives. If you have more than one child, your parenting time arrangement will most likely involve having your children move between each parent’s household together. However, there are situations where it is in a child’s best interest to live separately from his or her sibling, either some of the time or all of the time. Your children may have very different needs, or one sibling may be harmful to the other. If you have concerns about whether your children should be together, you should talk to a DuPage County child custody lawyer.

When Would Siblings be Apart After a Child Custody Case? 

Most siblings who have a normal and healthy sibling relationship will stay together at all times while the parents take turns spending time with them. Some situations where it might be better for siblings to have time apart include:

  • One child has significant disabilities - If one child is severely disabled and would have a very difficult time moving between households or cannot participate in the bonding activities one or both parents share with the healthy child, some time apart might be best for both children. For example, if a mother and one daughter enjoy camping together but the other daughter has disabilities that make camping impossible, it may be healthy for the disabled daughter to spend some time alone with her father while the mother takes the non-disabled daughter camping. 
  • One sibling is harmful to the other - There are some instances where one child is a danger to the other. If one of your children has been violent or abusive towards your other child, the court may want to protect the child who has been hurt by arranging to have the children live separately. This may be the case if one child has a severe mental illness that has led to violent or destructive behavior in the past. 
  • There is a large age gap - If one of your children is almost an adult and the other is a baby or toddler, their needs may be so different that keeping them together all the time is less of a priority than meeting the individual needs of each child. For example, the teenager may need to remain in his current home with his father so he can finish an AP program at his high school, while the baby needs to stay with her mother so she can be breastfed.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Child Custody Attorney

Andrew Cores Family Law Group is dedicated to helping parents protect all of their children during child custody cases. Experienced DuPage County, IL child custody lawyer Andy Cores is a Fellow for the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and can help most parents resolve their cases out of court. Contact us at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.

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