Are you seeking sole custody of your child after your divorce? Custody is a big "hot button" issue for a lot of divorcing parents, and it isn't very unusual for one parent to seek to exclude the other from custody for any number of reasons. Before you join their ranks, however, those who have had a front-line view of numerous custody battles say that you need to reconsider.
Here's why many attorneys recommend that you don't press for sole custody of your children without a compelling reason:
- Sole custody doesn't mean you can cut the other parent out of your child's life. Absent unusual circumstances, your ex-spouse is still likely to have regular visitation.
- You have to surrender all your control over the situation to the court. Once the case goes to court, this could backfire on you, and you could actually lose your custody rights.
- You'll face a lot of intrusions. In a custody battle, your entire life can end up under a microscope. You may have to meet with psychologists, family therapists, court-appointed guardians and more.
- You may be able to accomplish your real goals much more easily. If you're really concerned about something like the ability to direct your child's education, you may be able to negotiate that right in the custody agreement.
- A custody battle is expensive -- and long. A fierce custody battle can wage on for years and drive you into debt. That money may be better spent on your children's education and other needs.
- You may be hurting your children. Children crave the love and affection of both of their parents. How are you going to explain your decision to try to cut them off from their other parent?
Naturally, if your spouse is mentally abusive, physically dangerous or struggling with addiction, those are compelling reasons to ask for sole custody. Any other reason, however, may not be enough to justify the fallout.
To learn more about child custody and your options, please explore our site.