If your first instinct is to fight for sole custody of your child in a divorce, that’s perfectly understandable. After all, you’ve thus far had unlimited access to your little loved one. No one would blame you for not wanting that to change.
However, fighting for sole custody is not always beneficial for the parent or the child. Before making any rash decisions, give yourself time to consider the consequences fully. Below, we’ve outlined five things to consider before fighting for sole custody.
1. You’ll Have to Go to Trial
If you decide to fight for sole custody, doing so will likely require a trial. This might not sound like a bad idea at first glance, but going to trial means that you put all of the decision-making in the hands of a judge, attorney, or family relations officer.
These individuals will not know the child the way you and your spouse do. Therefore, they won’t be able to make decisions in the child’s best interests in the same way you could.
2. Your Efforts Might Backfire
By putting the ultimate decision in the hands of the court, you run the risk that your efforts to obtain sole custody will backfire on you. Keep in mind that even if you and your attorney have a solid plan, your spouse will also have an attorney and a plan of action.
By pursuing sole custody — unless there is a history of abuse or violence — you show the court that you are unwilling to co-parent. As a result, you could find the court ruling in favor of your spouse and his custody plan.
3. It’s Costly
The court does not decide to give a parent sole custody lightly. As a result, you should expect the process to be a drain on both your time and finances.
Even if you are prepared to pay more for a custody battle, ask yourself whether this is really in your child’s best interests.
The sooner you can finalize a custody agreement, the sooner your child can adjust to their new normal. Additionally, there might be a better use for all of the money you would spend in court — like your child’s education fund.
4. You’ll Have to Explain the Decision to Your Child
Keep in mind that just because you are unhappy with the other parent, your child doesn’t necessarily feel the same way. Over time, it may become increasingly difficult to explain why you made this decision, especially if you don’t have a valid reason.
Sometimes, fighting for sole custody can lead to hard feelings and even resentment from the child in question.
5. You Do Have Other Options
Unless sole custody is truly in the child’s best interests, there are a number of preferable alternatives. For example, you might be able to share custody of your child with your spouse but retain the right to make certain decisions regarding your child’s schooling, health, or religion.
If you would like to learn more about your custody options, you should speak with an experienced attorney. The right team will help you create a plan that works for you, your child, and the other parent.
Talk to Cohen Family Law About Your Custody Options
Choosing to pursue sole custody is a big decision that can have lasting consequences. Fortunately, you don’t have to weigh all of the pros and cons on your own.
Call Cohen Family Law of Phoenix, AZ, to discuss your options and make the best choice for everyone involved. We offer a number of family law services.