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Should You Seek Sole Custody of Your Children?


Determining the custody of your children during a divorce can trigger strong emotions. You may feel it is in their best interest to restrict the amount of time they spend with your ex.

Having a valid reason for seeking sole custody may improve your chances of a desirable outcome. Courts will assess your reasoning, as well as the best interests of your children before making any decisions.

Neglect and Abuse

Perhaps the most glaringly obvious reason to petition the courts for sole custody is when your ex has problems with abuse or neglect. Your children deserve loving treatment and access to immediate needs including shelter, food and clothing. An absence of any one of these factors can greatly endanger your children’s development and safety.

When citing your concerns with your ex, keep records of specific instances. This information can provide critical support when the courts request evidence that corroborates your claims. Fabricated stories, however, can hurt your reputation and potentially result in legal consequences.

Substance Abuse and Crime

If your ex abuses drugs and alcohol or has criminal involvement, you may fear for the safety and well-being of your children. According to, the courts will assess your ex’s capacity to parent responsibly. If they find discrepancies, you may have support for your claims.

A child custody agreement will take time to negotiate and finalize. As your children grow and circumstances change, you may need to modify the agreement over time. An attorney can help you prepare for child custody court. With effective preparation, you can confidently petition the court for sole custody of your children.