Ending a relationship can be difficult. Things can be especially hard when children are involved. Regardless of the circumstances that led to the dissolution of your relationship, you must put the interests and safety of your children first. To do so, it may be necessary to seek sole custody.
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Is Sole Custody Necessary?
Family court judges aim to grant shared custody. Courts prefer shared custody, not for the sake of the parents, but the sake of the children. The thinking of the courts is that children deserve to develop a bond and a relationship with both parents. But this is not always possible. If you know from experience that the other parent of your child is not fit to raise or spend time with them, then you should pursue sole custody.
Before doing so, you should adequately prepare yourself. The first step is to seek family law advice. You should speak to a lawyer who specializes in child custody law to ensure you have adequate grounds for your request.
Seeking sole custody should not be about you or your ex; it should not be an act of revenge or punishment. Judges frown on such motives. And if they believe you are acting out of malice, then they may make a decision that is unfavorable to you.
How to Prepare for a Custody Battle
To win custody of your child, you must prepare for a hearing. Your attorney will know the law. And you must bring insights into your children, your family life, and the activities and behaviors of your ex.
Here are some of the things you can do to help your case:
1. Review your living arrangements
In the end, the judge will decide your child’s fate based on what is in their best interest. This includes their material security. If you want custody of your kids, you must ensure that you can provide them with a stable physical environment. You don’t need to live in a big house, but you must show the judge that you have your own accommodation and that there is enough space for your kids.
2. Know your kids
You should know all about your children: the details of their education, their friends, and their favorite things to do. You should also know their allergies and special needs. The judge will probe you on these facts.
When deciding whether to award you sole custody, the judge will consider the following factors:
1. Who is the better parent
This involves many of the details discussed above—knowledge of the child and the ability to provide them a secure environment.
If you believe your child’s other parent is a danger to them, you must provide documented evidence, which may include arrest reports, hospital records, text messages, social media reports, etc. If you have caught on your cell phone camera instances of your ex being violent or aggressive toward your child, you can submit this as well.
You can call witnesses to court to back up your claims.