After separating and divorcing your spouse, deciding on a custody arrangement can be the final, but most stressful part of the process. If you are considering seeking sole custody of your child, you will need to provide sufficient evidence not only that you are a fit and stable parent, but that your ex is not. Trying to have sole custody should never be used to punish your ex. The best interest of the children should always be the highest priority in a custody dispute. Understanding the difference between sole custody and joint custody will help you know what to pursue in a child custody battle.
Joint custody vs sole custody
Most of the time, a custody battle is not a fight for who will win sole custody. Most cases will be deciding how much time and say each parent has in a joint custody arrangement. A joint custody arrangement gives both parents equitable physical custody (how much time the children spend with each parent) and legal custody, (how the child is raised and making important decisions.)
There, of course, are situations in which it is not in the children’s best interest to spend equal time with one parent. Whether a history of abuse or simply the parent’s job takes them out of town often, dividing time between parents can be difficult. Shared custody arrangements can be custom fit for every situation by dividing up physical and legal custody in different ways. Such arrangements are:
- Sole physical and shared legal custody – meaning the children are only in the physical care of one parent but both parents make decisions for the children together.
- Shared physical custody and sole legal custody can be when the children spend time with both parents but only one parent makes certain decisions for the children.
Seeking sole custody
After understanding the difference between sole custody and joint custody, you may still feel that your children should be solely in your custody. The court starts with the presumption that both parents have equal rights. You will have the burden of proof to show the court why you feel that you should have sole custody of your children. This can be a difficult process. Your only motivation must be for the well-being of your children. If there is anything else that may be causing you to want full custody of your children. Remember the courts’ focus will be only on what is best for the children, not the parents.
How to prove sole custody is best Unfortunately, proving that you should be awarded sole custody means proving that your ex is an unfit parent. It is important to keep your emotions in check throughout this process. Your ex may have made a poor partner, but a custody dispute is about the children and their wellbeing. Keeping a good record of emails, texts, and even phone logs of interaction with your ex concerning visits, pickups, and meetings can provide evidence of your ex not being reliable. Hiring an experienced child custody attorney will help you pinpoint what kind of evidence you must support your opinion that your child should be solely in your care. If you are in Las Vegas, call Warnock Family Law today.