Prime Considerations When Granting Residential Custody

family law concept

Child custody battles will often begin as soon as two parents separate or divorce. In extreme circumstances, the full physical care of a child might be awarded to one parent while the other gets visitation rights. Seeking to obtain the sole custody of a child in a court can prove to be a challenging endeavor and for a good reason. Numerous factors go into determining sole custody. Among them, stability and safety are critical. Here are some compelling reasons for awarding sole custody:

The Best Interest of the Child

This is probably the most vital factor that courts consider during sole custody cases. In normal circumstances, a court will find it ideal for both parents to share custody of their child. It follows that a parent who’s seeking a residence order should be prepared to give compelling reasons why shared custody isn’t in the best interest of their child. For instance, they can show that the other parent has been involved in substance abuse, child neglect, or mistreatment.

Incarceration

If one parent faces a lengthy jail term, they’re unlikely to effectively provide their child with a stable residence and proper care. The other parent or a third party such as a relative can seek sole custody of the child. The judge might also offer visitation rights to the incarcerated parent after serving their jail term. Occasionally, the new custodian can take the child to visit their parent in prison. However, they aren’t obligated to do so especially if they feel that such a visit can potentially cause the child emotional harm.

The Demise of the Custodial Parent

In the unfortunate event that the custodial parent passes away, the surviving parent is considered the natural guardian. However, if the latter is found to be unfit, the court can terminate their rights, and another interested third party including a sibling or grandparent may seek full custody of the child through the help of a family law specialist. They will, however, be required to provide proof that they can afford a decent home, proper care, and education for the child in question.

Child Preference

child with separated parents

The judge can consider the wishes of the child as a compelling reason for awarding custody to either of the parents. While this reason isn’t always sufficient when taken on its own, combining it with other factors such as neglect can influence the decision of the court. When child preference needs to be considered, the judge speaks to the kid in private to discover the cause of their choice before issuing an order.

In the end, a child custody case is arguably the most emotional and challenging undertaking parents have to go through after separation or divorce. These cases are often triggered by child neglect, drug abuse, or mental problems in one of the parents. In other instances, a relative or sibling might want to take custody of the child if the custodial parent dies or gets incarcerated, and the non-custodial is in no position to raise the child.