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Do courts usually give out sole custody?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2023 | Family Law |

People sometimes have the idea that courts prefer sole custody. If your spouse filed for divorce, they might tell you that they’re never going to let you see the children again. Both of you then settle in, thinking that you will have a custody fight to debate who actually gets the kids. In fact, many men are under the impression that mothers are automatically given preference and are very likely to get sole custody.

But this is not actually true. Modern courts do not play favorites in this way. It has been determined that children should usually see both of their parents, which is best for their development. As a result, most courts are going to give joint custody, splitting it up between the two individuals. This doesn’t mean that sole custody doesn’t happen, but it is certainly not the norm, and neither gender is preferred.

What are some reasons for sole custody?

In a situation where sole custody is used, it will usually mean there is an extreme reason that the child should not live with one of the parents. Domestic violence and child abuse are very clear examples. Substance abuse or the use of illegal drugs could also come into play. A person’s criminal record may also be considered.

But the thing to remember is that the court is not going to favor giving your ex custody just because they want it or because of their gender. It has to be something much more substantial than that. Otherwise, they are going to err on the side of giving joint custody that the two of you will have to split up.

As a result, one of the most important things to do is to carefully consider your options while creating this joint custody arrangement and setting up a co-parenting plan.