Divorcing parents here in California and elsewhere are typically encouraged to file for joint custody of their children. The family law courts have determined that shared custody and parenting time are in the best interests of most children.
As that is the guiding principle of all custody decisions, when there is a contested custody matter before them, the judges will usually hand down joint custody rulings even when one parent has the children living with them most of the time. But that does not mean that there can never be situations where sole custody is sought and awarded. Below are some situations where sole custody could very well be in the best interests of your children.
- A parent was neglectful of the child in the past
- One parent has a history of domestic violence or sexual abuse
- The parent is an addict or alcoholic who is not in recovery
- The parent is struggling with mental illness and noncompliant with medication and/or treatment
- The parent has attempted to alienate the child’s affection for the child’s other parent
- One parent is planning to move out of state or the country
- A parent is incarcerated
- The child’s other parent has abandoned them
If you are seeking a divorce or simply formalizing custody arrangements for your child from a previous relationship, it is possible that you may need to seek sole custody. Your Pleasanton family law attorney can review your case and make a recommendation for the type of custody to petition the court for.
As always, keeping your child’s best interests foremost should guide both your and the court’s decisions on custody.