Siblings are not normally separated in a divorce. With this in mind, there are some exceptions.
Siblings are a fundamental pillar for their development and growth and, when a divorce or separation occurs involving minors, the general rule in a shared custody system is not to separate them.
However, every general rule has its particularities, which we will explain below!
What are the criteria for separating siblings?
When determining the decision to separate siblings after a separation or divorce, the following 3 criteria are taken into account:
1. The best interests of the child
When a divorce or separation takes place, the best interests of the child, or what is also known as the "best interests of the child", must be taken into account throughout the whole process.
This best interest of the child lies in what measures are to be taken with regard to the children after the marital breakdown. The aim is to give them as much stability as possible, considering that it is in their best interest to grow up with their siblings, which will help their development and well-being.
2. What the child thinks
If the child is twelve years old or sufficiently mature, the judge will have to listen to them in order to decide what is best for them. However, hearing them does not mean that the decision will be made on the basis of what the child says, but will be made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the child.
3. The age and maturity of children
Here we have a clear example of being able to separate siblings when they are many years apart. Older siblings have their own group of friends, socialise with people their own age, which means that they obviously have less in common with their younger siblings, as they are at a very different stage of maturity.
How can these sizes be chosen?
The choice of measures and the separation of siblings will depend on whether the parents agree or not.
If there is agreement...
If there is agreement between the parents, it can be adopted by mutual agreement in a Regulatory Agreement. However, as there are minors, it will be compulsory to have the supervision of the Public Prosecutor's Office and the approval of the Judge, as this separation does not harm the interests of the minors.
If there is no agreement...
Otherwise, the judge must take into account the factors presented above, i.e. the interests of the child, the right to be heard in separation or divorce proceedings and the child's age.