Getting a divorce is one of the most tumultuous moments of your life. Not only are you ending a relationship with your spouse, but you must deal with custody of your children. If you believe the other parent is unfit to have joint custody-or even any visitation at all-you are likely facing a lot of stress.
The idea of your children spending time with your ex may be difficult, especially if he or she is not an ideal parent. But you must be strategic in how you obtain a desired outcome from the court. Follow the below guidelines to have the best chance at getting sole custody.
Understand how to prove you are the better parent
Generally, judges prefer to award some sort of joint custody or visitation plan. This is because it can be hard for a judge to see who is clearly a better parent. You can support your argument for sole custody by providing evidence of your responsibility for the physical and psychological wellbeing of your child.
The judge will take notice of which parent is encouraging and providing a healthy lifestyle for the child. Demonstrate how you help with sleeping habits, eating schedule, after-school activities, exercise and daily routine.
Be strategic in undermining the other parent
While you may want to disparage and lash out at your ex at any given moment, you do not want to appear unreasonable or uncontrollably angry. If you have legitimate reasons to worry about the other parent caring for your child, gather and provide evidence for the judge to review. For example, you can bring documentation regarding substance abuse, violence or neglect. Documents are much better than just words.
Fighting for custody can feel overwhelming at times, but if you truly believe this is what is best for your child, you should reach for your goals with all your heart.