Most parents are able to effectively co-parent with an ex-spouse. However, if you do not want to co-parent and you're thinking about beginning the divorce process, you would need to win sole custody. However, courts will typically want to award joint custody unless one of several circumstances arise. Make sure to speak with a family lawyer if your intention is to have sole custody of your child.
Understand How Sole Custody Works
When you have sole custody, your child will every day of the year with you. The other parent will be allowed to visit your children and may require supervised visits. The only time that the visits would not be allowed is if the courts believe that the visits would not be in the best interest of the child. Even if the other parent is allowed visitation, the parent who has sole custody is allowed to make all major decisions.
Take Your State Into Consideration
Some states, such as New York, do not have joint custody arrangements. Instead, either you or the other parent will receive sole custody and you will need to work out a shared custody arrangement outside of court.
The Best Interests of Your Child
Often, the courts will award sole custody if they believe that doing so will be in the best interests of your child. For example, if you have evidence that your spouse engages in physical abuse or neglect. Parents with a history of drug abuse, a criminal record, or an unstable home environment are also less likely to receive custody.
Some parents have a mental illness and are unable to adequately care for their children due to this psychological condition. If the parent is not fit to take care of their child, they would be more likely to abandon them. Also, parents who commit crimes are more likely to be incarcerated, and this is not in the best interest of the child. Also, if one parent does not show interest in having custody of the child, the other parent is much more likely to receive custody.
The Importance of a Family Law Attorney
In most states, the courts assume that a child would be better off having a relationship with both parents. However, with the help of a family law professional, you will be able to argue why these circumstances are different and your child would be better off in your custody alone.