sole custody

What is Sole Custody?

In 51% of custody cases, the courts and parents select the mother to have custody. And while this is the majority of cases, 49% of fathers win custody.

Since sole custody is one of the most common forms of child custody, it’s essential to know the differences and how you can get sole custody.

This short guide will help you learn the correct definition of sole custody and when a parent can receive it.

Sole Custody Definition

Sole custody is when one parent has full autonomy in decision-making for all important life decisions. This autonomy includes decisions for schools, medical services, home/moving, and any other important life events.

The other parent can still have visitation and custody rights in situations like this. Still, the courts reserve sole legal custody, the ability to make all decisions, for the one parent.

Although sole legal custody is a typical result in child custody cases, the courts more often grant legal custody to both parents. There are instances when a parent is not fit for legal custody, resulting in the other parent bearing the responsibility.

When Does a Parent Receive Sole Legal Custody?

Receiving legal custody is a responsibility, and the courts try to ensure they only enact it when necessary. Sole legal custody is not a quick decision and does not happen because two fit parents don’t get along.

In most cases, sole legal custody works with sole child custody, meaning that the other parent is unfit for decision-making and child-rearing. Although this is not always the case, it’s the most common form of sole legal custody.

Three Main Circumstances

When it comes to sole legal custody, there are three primary circumstances in which a parent can win this form of child legal custody:

#1: Distance

Both parents might be great for joint legal custody, but distance hinders the decision-making process if one lives across time zones or is several hours away.

And in moments when the parents need to make a quick decision, it can be challenging to get another parent’s opinion and approval.

#2: Abuse

If a parent abuses or neglects a child, they cannot have legal or physical custody.

Additionally, abuse extends to substance abuse, as this behavior compromises decision-making and puts a child at risk.

#3: Lack of Interaction

The final way that a parent can win sole legal custody is through a lack of interaction. If the other parent doesn’t make a concerted effort to see the child or spend time with the time, there is no legal reason why that parent should have decision-making power.

We Can Help You!

Sole custody is one of the more common forms of child custody but rarely the first option. Some of the only ways a parent can win sole legal custody are if the other parent is too far away, abuses the child, or if they refuse to see the child.

In moments like these, a parent needs to have solid legal representation to help them gain sole legal custody. If you need a team that will support you along the way, contact Hickey and Hull Law Partners today.