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Can your ex demand sole custody and keep you from the kids?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2022 | Child Custody And Visitation

Disagreements about custody are often the reason that divorces turn ugly. Spouses who might otherwise be able to agree on certain matters may fight vehemently over who has time with the children.

The more contentious your relationship with your ex has become, the greater the possible risk that your children could wind up in the middle of your divorce dispute. Sometimes, one parent will even withhold time with the children from the other as a way to punish their ex.

Could your spouse potentially cut you out of the children’s lives by asking for sole custody in your California divorce?

Sole custody is not a preferred solution

It is possible that a family law judge reviewing your circumstances would decide that the best solution for your family would be to give one parent more time with the children or more decision-making authority.

However, in most family law cases involving custody disputes, judges try to keep both parents as involved as possible. California required that custody decisions prioritize the best interests of the children, and having both parents around is usually what is best for the children.

If a judge notices that one parent is particularly resentful toward the other or interferes in the relationship that their ex has with the children, those actions could potentially affect how the judge divides parenting time. If your ex wants to use the courts to cut you off from the children, they will first have to build a case to show that doing so would be best for the kids.

When is full custody best for the children?

There are a handful of scenarios in which a judge will potentially agree that giving one parent sole custody would be better for the children. When there is clear evidence of substance abuse, serious physical or mental health issues, neglect or domestic violence, a judge may grant one parent sole custody or give them more time with and authority over the children.

Still, for such claims to have an impact on a divorce, the parent alleging misconduct will need evidence supporting their claims. Understanding the rules that influence child custody matters in California can help you feel more confident about preserving your relationship during your divorce.