The most common solution that courts use for children in divorce cases is to rule in favor of joint custody. This means that both parents have time in which they live with and take care of the children. Time may be split 50-50 or it may not, but the key factor is that it is split. You do not have your children alone, and neither does your ex.

But what if you want sole custody? Can you ask the court to give it to you and cut your ex out of the child’s life?

The reasons it happens

Sole custody is possible, and the courts can and do grant it. That said, it may not be as exclusive as you assume. Your ex could still have a right to visit the child, take them on vacation or even have them spend the night on the weekends.

In other cases, though, it is very exclusive, and the other parent has no right to see the child at all — or at least not without supervision. This is done for a variety of reasons, which may include:

  • A history of abuse
  • A risk to the child
  • A criminal record
  • A history of drug and alcohol addiction
  • A diagnosed mental or physical disorder

Generally, the court just considers what is best for the child. They never want to put a child in a dangerous position where they could be neglected or harmed.

Your options

No matter what type of custody you’re seeking during your divorce, it’s critical to know what legal options you have and how the court makes these determinations.

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