At the time of your child's birth, you likely already felt your protective instincts kick in. You knew that you would do your best to protect him or her from any unnecessary harm and from situations that could prove unhealthy. Now that you and your spouse are going through a divorce, you may have specific feelings for how you want to handle child custody proceedings.
For whatever reason, you feel that working toward sole custody would best suit your circumstances. Maybe the other parent has abusive tendencies, substance abuse problems or other issues that make him or her an unfit parent in your eyes. However, while you may feel that the parent is unfit, you must still prove to the court that sole custody would work in the best interests of your child.
Better parent standard
In this type of child custody case, you would need to prove that you are the better parent. You may want to remember that you will have your work cut out for you. Meeting the better parent standard may prove more difficult than you think. Achieving this goal often means having the ability to show the court that you understand what your child needs to nurture his or her physical and psychological well-being.
When it comes to the psychological well-being of your child, it may work in your best interests to acknowledge the importance of visitation with the other parent. While you may hold a certain amount of animosity toward him or her, the court may appreciate your willingness to work with the other parent to maintain the parent-child relationship. Of course, if you believe the other parent will harm the child, you may want to express that view to the court.
If you want to prove that you understand your child's physical needs better than the other parent does, it may be beneficial for you to show your thorough knowledge of your child's various schedules and routines as well as how you help your child maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Joint custody is possible
Though you may strive for sole custody, the court system often holds a more favorable view of joint custody. Therefore, you may want to remember that this outcome could occur and build your case to meet the better parent standard as you see fit. Discussing your custody concerns and desires with your legal counsel could help you understand your viable legal options.