When a set of Texas parents decides to divorce, they must address many child-related issues. The court always has children’s best interests in mind when making decisions in a divorce that involves kids. In some cases, a parent might request sole child custody. This typically refers to the right to make major decisions involving the children (legal custody). Physical custody, which can also be sole or joint, refers to where the children will live and the parenting time schedule.
If so, a parent must convince the court that the children in question would be better off in the full custody of the parent making the request rather than in a shared custody arrangement with both parents. The court must be convinced that the kids are better off with one parent over the other. Since most judges believe children of divorce fare best when they maintain active relationships with both parents, a parent requesting sole custody must provide a justifiable reason why it would be in the children’s best interests.
Family court judges might grant sole child custody for these reasons
A family court judge makes child custody decisions in a divorce by reviewing the merits of the case and considering applicable guidelines. Here are some of the reasons why a parent might be granted sole custody:
- Evidence of domestic violence
- Other parent has a substance abuse problem
- Other parent has been diagnosed with a mental illness
- Other parent is in jail
- Other parent is moving out of state
While this list is not extensive, it provides examples of justifiable reasons for seeking sole child custody in a divorce. A judge can act at his or her own discretion to grant or deny such a request.
Both parents must adhere to a custody order
Even if the other parent does not like the idea of his or her ex having sole child custody, if the judge grants the request, so be it. Both parents must comply with the court order. If a parent does not obey a court order, the other parent can return to court to ask the judge to enforce the order. It is best to seek legal counsel in such circumstances.