If you are concerned about your children being around your former spouse after your divorce, you can pursue sole custody. You should only do this if you believe your former spouse does not have your children's best interest in mind. Here are some examples of when you should push for sole custody.
Your Former Spouse Was Physically Abusive
If your former spouse has physically assaulted you or abused your children, you need to file for sole custody. A spouse who is abusive is a danger to your children, especially if you are not around to supervise.
Your Former Spouse Has a Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Drug and alcohol abuse can be a reason to seek sole custody. If your former spouse uses drugs or alcohol around your children, they are not of sound mind to keep your children safe.
Your Former Spouse Neglects Your Child
If your former spouse has any history of neglecting your children, you should seek sole custody. Neglect occurs when a parent is unable or unwilling to provide the children with their basic needs. This includes clothing, food, shelter, healthcare, and proper supervision.
Your Former Spouse Is Mentally Ill
If your former spouse is mentally ill, you may get sole custody. The decision largely depends on the type of mental illness and how it impacts the way the person parents the children. If your former spouse does not take proper medication or is unable to provide adequate care due to the illness, sole custody may be the best decision.
Your Former Spouse Wants to Move Out of State
If your former spouse wants to move to a different state and take your children with, you may want to file for sole custody. This will ensure your children stay with you. This does not mean that your former spouse cannot have visitation, so you should expect your child to visit their other parent occasionally, based on your parenting plan.
Your Former Spouse Is Incarcerated
You can also seek sole custody when your former spouse is incarcerated. Incarceration can be traumatic for a child, so you need to be the one to make the necessary decisions on when your child sees their other parent in jail. Your former spouse can seek joint custody after they leave jail, but you will be able to make the necessary decisions for your children that are in their best interests.
For more information, contact a custody attorney.