Parents aren't flawless, although sometimes it seems that society expects perfection. When you discuss child custody as part of your divorce, the pressure to be the perfect parent can feel intense. You suddenly feel like you have to prove your love for your child or justify moments in your past that you aren't proud of.
If your ex-spouse is seeking sole custody, you may sense that your life is under a magnifying glass. A number of worries can flood your mind, including whether your child will be able to visit or if you will have a say in their education or medical care.
Emotions can run high during a divorce. Unfortunately, this can lead some ex-spouses to fight for full custody to punish the other person. Bitterness, rather than legitimate concern for the child, can sometimes prompt sole custody requests.
Your spouse cannot earn sole custody on unproven allegations alone. Judges rely on evidence and witnesses to give a complete and honest picture of your situation.
Even if you have a few strikes against you, courts often only grant sole custody in special circumstances. For example, successfully treated substance abuse issues from your past might not necessarily prevent you from earning custody. Current drug or alcohol abuse, however, could easily be a reason. Any child abuse charges are also likely to convince a court to deny guardianship.
Finally, you may still have visitation rights if sole custody is the outcome. Usually only a serious concern for the child's well-being would prevent a judge from allowing a parent and child to spend time together.
Parents with concern about their custody rights should consult a family law attorney. Ultimately, sole custody might not be the right solution for your child. When your ex tries to gain sole custody simply to hurt you, your lawyer could help you successfully defend your parental rights.