Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

How to gain sole custody in a child custody dispute

The end of marriage is difficult for everyone involved. The process can end quickly if there are few properties and assets to split and no children involved. But, if a couple has minor children, the case can easily turn contentious if each parent decides to fight for custody. Because determining child custody can be an emotionally challenging process, divorcing individuals should fully understand their options so they can avoid adding to the conflict and stress.

Sole custody is one of the most hotly contested divorce issues, and is awarded principally with the child's best interests in mind. This type of custody is often suggested when one parent has a history of violence, drug abuse, mental health problems or spousal or child abuse. In other words, if one parent is deemed unfit to raise the couple's child, the other parent can seek sole custody.

If there are no abuse or violence issues, and both parents are capable of raising the child, then shared custody is the best option, allowing the child to be nurtured and loved by both parents after divorce. This also means parents need to understand that using children as pawns to hurt each other will be harmful to those children. Such selfish behavior only prolongs the process and can lead to ruptured parent-child relationships.

Child custody issues can be settled through negotiation or through litigation. Either way, a legal professional can help parents find the child-custody agreement that best fits their situation, helping to lead to what is hopefully a just outcome.

Source: Americannewsreport.com, "Getting sole custody of your child," Feb. 17, 2014

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