My Ex and I Have Joint Custody of Our Child, But I Want Full Custody
August 21, 2019
There is nothing wrong with wanting full custody of your child, especially if your ex is abusive or untrustworthy. Out of the many different types of child custody, sole custody is the most challenging to secure. Let’s take a look at what is necessary to obtain full custody of a child.
How to get Custody of a Child: Make Your Case
Most judges prefer that both parents play a part in their child’s life. This is precisely why judges mandate the parent seeking sole custody to prove why he or she is the only one who deserves this type of custody. However, there are different types of child custody, even sole custody.
Sole physical custody occurs when the child mainly lives with one of the parents while the other is limited to visitation rights.
Sole legal custody is when one parent is provided with the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child. This means the parent can make decisions pertaining to medical care, religion, and education on behalf of the child. It is possible for a parent to enjoy sole physical custody as well as joint legal custody in which key decisions must be discussed together.
If you and your ex have a child together, you are free to file for full custody even if you have not been married. If you can prove the child will benefit from sole custody and the joint custody is a mistake as you and your ex cannot get along to perform co-parenting, you may stand a chance of convincing the judge to side with you. However, the child’s best interest will prove to be the determining factor. The judge will ultimately determine if sole custody is in your child’s best interest. If sole custody is not in his or her best interest, you will have to do your best to work with your ex in a joint custody arrangement.
If you file for full custody of your child, you will likely face a legal fight from your ex. It is possible you will have to hire an attorney and engage in legal battle. The worst case scenario is a trial in which your attorney will make the case for full custody based on your ex’s character, lack of income, criminal record, or other less desirable facts about who they are and what kind of influence they will provide your child.
Factors That Help You Obtain Full Custody
Some factors are more important than others when it comes to determining whether a parent should be provided with sole custody. As an example, if your ex has abandoned, neglected, or harmed your child, the judge will be sympathetic to your argument. It will also help to provide evidence that your ex is incapable of properly raising/supervising your kids. An addiction to alcohol or drugs, a history of domestic violence, or a major mental health issue will make it difficult for your ex to raise your child safely. If you have any evidence of such addiction or personal problems, bring them to the judge’s attention.
Even a highly flexible work schedule can bolster your argument. If you have obtained a protective order against your ex and he or she is a legitimate threat to the child, the judge is likely to rule in your favor. Furthermore, if you are more capable of handling the child’s special needs or if the child bonds better with you, you should let the judge know. Even something as minor as the ability and willingness to help the child with his or her educational challenges can sway the judge toward your side. In some situations, the child is old enough to state his or her preference for a certain parent.
Mind the Subtleties
The subtleties of your appearance and demeanor matter a great deal in the context of battling for child custody. The judge will observe you at court hearings. If your demeanor or attire raise red flags, the judge will be inclined to deny full custody. Listen to the judge and do not interrupt. Be respectful to the court. Remain composed throughout the entirety of the hearing. Resist the temptation to wear casual clothing to the hearing(s). Wear professional attire to make it clear to the judge that you mean business.
Do not Give up on the Battle for Full Custody
If you feel as though it is an uphill battle to obtain full custody of your child, you are not alone. Countless mothers and fathers have attempted to obtain full custody only to fall short. However, a well-reasoned argument presented by an experienced family law attorney will resonate with the judge. If your ex missteps at any point down the line, your argument for full custody will become that much more persuasive. If you have more pressing questions or concerns about child custody laws in Ohio, contact our office today.