How to Win Sole Custody of a Child
When parents divorce or separate, there are those who will amicably agree on how to raise the children involved. However, many parents cannot see eye to eye on matters relating to children, such as where they’ll live, how much time each parent spends with them, and who makes the main decisions regarding the kids. When this happens, the family has to seek litigation from an experienced divorce lawyer in order to move forward. Joint custody arrangements are most preferred because they may help ensure both parents remain in the life of the child. However, there are cases where you may need to get sole custody of the children.
What’s the difference between sole custody and joint custody?
Unlike a joint custody arrangement where both parents are involved in raising the child, sole custody is where only one parent makes the most critical decisions when raising the child. These important decisions in a child’s upbringing include religious affiliation, medical and educational decisions. The parent without custody may still have access to the child if he/she is granted visitation rights. In some cases, the parent without custody isn’t allowed to inquire about the child in school or at the doctor’s office.
When do you need to apply for sole custody?
Sole custody often comes in handy in situations of abuse, conflict and/or violence. Additionally, for needy children, such as a child who is disabled, sole custody may be a suitable arrangement since there’s a need for regular decision making. Sole custody may also be the last resort for parents who cannot communicate.
Other reasons for parents to seek sole custody of the child include:
- When the other parent is often relocating, which makes joint custody difficult
- When there are incidents of unexplained neglect and absences from the child’s life
- If the other parent is imprisoned
- If the other parent abuses drugs and alcohol
- Financial instability
- Mental instability
- When the kids are exposed to domestic violence
Tips to get sole custody of your child
- Act in the best interests of the child: Remember that the court is not interested in approving sole custody for the parent’s selfish reasons. Don’t use this as a way to avoid or hurt the other parent.
- Provide adequate proof and evidence: You must provide relevant information to prove to the family court that shared custody will negatively impact your child. Show evidence that the other parent poses a risk to the child, whether physically or mentally, has neglected, abused, or abandoned the child.
- If the child is old enough, allow him/her to express their preference.
- If your child has special needs, show how you are better equipped to handle these needs.
- You may also want to show how the child has bonded better with you and is thriving in your care. Parents who provide a more stable home environment are more likely to win sole custody.