In California, sole custody is when one parent has the ability to make important decisions for the child or when the child spends nearly all of their time with that parent. As a matter of policy, courts want both parents involved in the child’s life, and this is usually what is in their best interests. When a parent wants sole legal custody of a child, they would need a good reason to persuade the judge.
Sole Custody Is Not the Normal Rule
Courts will only consider the interests of the child. Normally, what happens between the parents is not relevant to the determination of custody unless one parent had committed some kind of domestic violence or abuse. The court will, first and foremost, be interested in the safety and well-being of the child. If you can show that one parent is a danger to the children or is not equipped enough to exercise custody, then the court may award sole custody.
Most often, sole custody would be awarded if there is a history of:
- Substance abuse
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
However, courts may also consider sole custody when the other parent has not been involved in the child’s life before and does not have the experience to be a parent. Courts also want to ensure continuity and stability for the child. If you want sole custody, you are working against a presumption of the court wanting two parents for the children, so you will need compelling evidence to persuade the court.
Contact a Sacramento Family Law Attorney
If you are dealing with a family law issue, you should not be trying to handle it alone. The Mason Law Office can give you practical legal advice for your situation. Call us today at (833) 717-1127 or contact us online to discuss your case.