Determining child custody can be a challenging process, no matter the situation of your family. In some cases, a child’s well-being is best served by remaining in the custody of only one parent. Why might you want to consider pursuing sole custody of your child?
Common reasons for awarding sole custody
While fostering a child’s bond with their parents, siblings and other relatives is often a reason for parents to co-parent their child, shared custody is not always the best arrangement. In some cases, one parent taking on sole custody is the best way to provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs. These situations include:
- Neglect or abandonment — If a parent has failed to provide their child with the support they need, including medical care, food, clothing or shelter, it is reasonable to have concerns that they will continue to ignore the child’s needs in the future. Abandonment, including failure to maintain contact with a child, is cause for concern that the child won’t receive the emotional support they need if the abandoning parent receives custody.
- Abuse – In cases of physical or sexual abuse, allowing an abusive parent to have custody could endanger the child’s safety in the future.
- Mental health or substance abuse struggles — Parents who struggle with substance abuse or significant mental health difficulties may not have the ability to care for their child.
- Incarceration — A parent serving a prison sentence cannot care for their child’s daily needs. Parents should also carefully consider whether visiting an incarcerated parent in prison is in a child’s best interest.
- Relocation — Parents may be capable of sharing custody when they live near each other. However, if one parent moves out of the state or country, a joint custody arrangement may put unnecessary stress on their child. In these cases, one parent’s sole custody might allow the child greater stability in their life.
When situations like this arise, parents may want to pursue sole custody to protect their children fand ensure they grow up with the love and support they need.