In most divorces, the judge presiding over the proceedings decides to split custody between the parents. There is an assumption that protecting both of those parental relationships will be best for the children in the long run.
Usually, that is true. Children have the best chance at good mental health and social relationships if they have strong relationships with both parents. However, there are certain situations in which one parent having time alone with the children would be a bad decision.
If any of the three situations below applies to your family, you may have grounds to request sole custody of your children.
Your co-parent is physically abusive
Acts of physical violence don’t just cause bruises and broken bones. They also cause emotional trauma that can affect someone for years. Documentation like medical records and police reports that show that your spouse has abused you in front of the children or abused the children can help convince the court to award you sole custody.
Your co-parent has an untreated addiction
Millions of Americans struggle with chemical dependence on alcohol, pain pills or other mind-altering substances. A parent dependent on drugs or alcohol may not be able to provide for the needs of the children. For example, they may not wake up or be able to drive the children to the hospital in the event of an emergency.
Your co-parent has health issues that affect their parenting
The physical or mental health of a parent can keep them from fulfilling their parental obligations. They may be too unwell to properly care for their children.
Knowing when the court will agree that sole custody would be best for the children can help you seek custody arrangements that will protect your children’s safety and well-being.