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How to Get Sole Custody as a Single Parent

After a divorce, mothers and fathers seek sole custody for a variety of reasons that they believe to be in the best interest of a child. This is the alternative to joint custody, where both parents share co-parenting duties and responsibilities.

From your local family law experts in Brooklyn, here’s what you need to know about how to get sole custody of your kids.

What Does Sole Custody Mean?

If the dissolution of your marriage involves child custody, it’s first important to understand what sole custody really means and what it entails for a single parent. Legal custody involves making decisions for a child, while physical custody involves where the child actually lives. A parent can be awarded sole legal custody, sole physical custody, or both.

However, when most people talk about “sole custody,” they are referring to sole physical custody. This is also sometimes called “full custody,” and a common decision when parents live far apart, if one parent cannot properly care for the child, or if the parents can’t come to a co-parenting arrangement.

The Benefits of Sole Custody

If you have sole legal custody of your child, you can make all decisions on the child’s behalf without having to consult anyone else. This includes decisions about the child’s medical treatment, education, and religious upbringing. With a sole physical custody arrangement, you get to spend the most time with your child and the most influential parent in his or her life.

Why You Might Seek Sole Custody

The purpose of seeking sole custody is to take the best possible care of a child and not to deprive the other parent of parental rights. There are certain circumstances that warrant a sole custody situation, especially if the child’s physical wellbeing could be at risk. Neglect, abuse, mental illness, and substance abuse are all reasons to seek sole custody. If one parent is incarcerated in prison or moves to a faraway location out of state, these are also grounds for seeking sole custody.

Proving the Other Parent is Unfit to Have Custody

To prove that the other parent is unfit to care for the child and that you should have sole custody, you should bring all documentation that relates to the other parent’s behavior to your attorney and to court. This includes police reports that document calls for domestic violence, medical records that show abuse injuries or a diagnosis of mental illness, and prison records.

Any documentation that shows evidence of alcohol or drug abuse will be useful in proving that the other parent is unfit for child custody. You can also provide copies of your child’s report cards that show that the child does better academically while staying in your home rather than with the other parent. Income tax returns, salary information, and residential information should also be brought to a custody hearing.

Pursuing Sole Custody in New York

The pursuit of sole custody is far too important of a matter to try to achieve it alone without expert help. This is why Attorney Theodore Alatsas is here to help you through the process so that your child is taken care of in the best way possible.

Contact us via live chat on our website or call us at 718-233-2903 for your free confidential consultation about sole custody. We are here to help you and answer all of your child custody questions.