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Can I Get Sole Custody Of My Kids?


When divorcing with kids, you may have questions about child custody. How will custody be determined? Is sole custody an option?

Child custody is primarily determined by what is in the best interests of the child. This typically means joint custody, which means both parents have legal and physical custody of the child. The child stays at both homes and both parents make the legal decisions for the child.

There is also sole custody, but that is rare. The courts usually don’t recommend keeping a child away from one parent. They want to encourage children to have good relationships with both parents.

However, there are situations in which sole custody is in the child’s best interest, such as when there is a possibility of the other parent causing harm to the child. In a sole custody situation, the child lives with one parent exclusively and that parent makes all the decisions for the child.

When Sole Custody is Recommended

You can ask for sole custody in these situations:

  • This refers to physical or sexual assault of a child by a parent.
  • This is when the child’s basic needs are not met. Has the parent ignored the child in the past? Has the child gone without food, clothing, or shelter while in the care of the other parent?
  • Has the parent ever been involved with the child? Do they have little interest in them? If so, then this can constitute abandonment.
  • Substance abuse. A child should not be cared for by a parent who abuses drugs or alcohol. These substances can impair one’s judgment.
  • Mental illness. A parent who is mentally ill is unstable. They can be irrational and cause harm to the child or put them in danger.
  • A parent cannot care for a child when they are in jail. Therefore, it is in your child’s best interest to seek sole custody. You can arrange for the incarcerated parent to visit the child once he or she is released from prison. You are not obligated to have your child visit a parent in jail, as this can cause emotional harm.
  • Sole custody is not usually given to parents solely based on relocation, but if there is a good reason to move the child to a different location, then the court may be agreeable to it.

Getting Sole Custody

Your chances of getting sole custody will depend on your situation. If both parents agree to sole custody, then the court will usually approve the agreement. If the other parent does not contest your request for sole custody, then the court will assume that the parent is not interested in parenting the child and will most likely grant you sole custody. However, if you request sole custody and the other parent contests it, be prepared to show sufficient proof to show that sole custody is in the best interests of the child.

Seek Legal Help

The courts want what is best for a child. This often means joint custody, but there are situations in which sole custody may be the better option.

Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help you with custody issues. He can guide you in the right direction and help you make the right decisions. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling 954-764-4330.

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