"I want full custody." - Many of our clients' request
During a divorce or custody consultation, one parent will often ask, “How can I get full custody?”
Obtaining sole custody of your children is challenging. In Texas, it is presumed that it is in the best interest of the children for parents to share custody. However, there are some cases where sole custody is necessary.
The Court shall consider appointing sole custody if there is a history of violence or evidence of child abuse or neglect. The Court will carefully evaluate any proof that the other parent has a history of physical harm, bodily injury or sexual assault towards the other family member. Courts will also consider if one parent was arrested for a violent crime or if there are allegations of alcohol or drug abuse while the children were present. Sole custody is considered if one parent has been absent from the children’s lives. We often see this if one parent lives out of state or is incarcerated.
If these extreme circumstances do not apply to your case, the judge is more likely to appoint joint custody. You can still request that the children live primarily with you and request the other parent receive a visitation schedule. You may be the parent who has always been primarily responsible for your children’s needs.
One way to establish your responsibilities is by demonstrating that you are an intrical part of the children’s daily routine. Describe your role in waking the kids up, cooking their meals, driving them to school and their extracurricular activities, etc. Furthermore, you may be the parent who schedules the kids’ medical or dental appointments or attends the majority of their parent/teacher conferences. Judges are likely to order a visitation schedule that will least interrupt the children’s routine.
The turmoil of a divorce can lead people to make irrational choices. Some couples spend their mental energy accusing each other of being terrible parents. Your children need you to co-parent with each other. Encourage your kids to express their concerns about changes happening to the family. They will need time to adapt to the new routine of not having both parents around.