Many courts prefer to award divorcing couples joint custody. It’s believed that having a strong relationship with both parents is in the best interest of the child. However, some situations warrant sole custody, such as allegations of abuse or neglect. If you plan on filing for sole custody during your divorce, Very Well Family recommends the following advice.
The most important consideration during custody hearings is the best interest of the child. For example, if your ex has a substance abuse problem, your child might not be safe at his or her home. If your ex provided lackluster care during the course of your marriage and you’re concerned about neglect, this is another matter that should be brought up in court. When communicating your position, try to do so in a reasonable, informed manner. Emotional outbursts, even when warranted, are not looked upon favorably in court.
In the same token, make sure you’re presenting yourself well to the judge. While your appearance doesn’t necessarily have an impact on your ability to parent effectively, it will make an impression. Make sure you’re dressed in business casual attire and steer clear of clothing that may be construed as informal or offensive.
Finally, before you file for sole custody consider your motivations for doing so. If you’re generally concerned for the safety and well-being of your child when he or she is with the other parent, then it makes sense to request sole custody. If you’re simply unhappy with your ex, or angry about the breakup of your marriage and are attempting to enact revenge, consider the damage this could inflict on your child. Regardless of the reason behind the filing, it’s best to have the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney to ensure the case is handled in the proper manner.