With more than 60 years of experience in family law, we’ve been asked countless times by clients how they can obtain full custody of their children. Parents who seek to win full custody of a child should be prepared for what may turn out to be an unexpectedly challenging fight. Before you decide to pursue this custody option, you should look inward at your motives. Do you want full custody to punish your ex, or do you truly believe that the other parent is unfit to share custody of your child?
What Exactly is Full Custody?
Full custody refers to child custody arrangements where only one parent has custody of the child or children. That person, known as the primary custodial parent, generally has full rights regarding legal custody (i.e., making legal decisions for the child) and physical custody (i.e., providing housing and necessities for the child). In many cases, the non-custodial parent may be required to provide monthly child support payments and allowed visitation rights.
What Are Some Tips on How to Get Full Custody of My Child?
Parents seeking full custody of their children need to understand that full custody is rarely given unless the court determines that the arrangement will genuinely benefit the child. That is because children naturally do better when having a loving relationship with both parents. It will not be granted simply because one parent requests it. A parent looking to win full custody should be prepared to state reasons why joint custody is not in the child's best interests.
That being said, if you choose to pursue full custody, consider the following tips:
- Be prepared to show documentation, as you may need proof that you have the capability of raising the child
- Do not falsify or exaggerate any information to obtain custody
- Respect the other party and do not engage in belittling or making fun of them in and out of the court
- Inform your attorney of your goals regarding custody
Do not feel as though you have lost if full custody is not an option. Other options, such as joint custody and planned visitation, may be better alternatives for your children.