Many parents in North Carolina care more about their relationship with their children than the financial terms of their divorce. What they want more than anything else is to see the children as much as possible. That is a noble and real reasonable goal, but parents often lose sight of what is best for the children as divorces get ugly and emotions take over their decisions. They want justice for perceived wrongs during the marriage or just a way to punish or hurt their ex.
Fighting for sole custody can seem like a way to punish your ex for being an uninvolved parent or to ensure that you have the final say in all of their crucial life choices until they become adults. Sole custody may seem like an appropriate and fair solution to you because you have been a very dedicated and hands-on parent so far.
Unfortunately, aggressively pursuing sole custody could actually backfire for some parents preparing for custody proceedings in South Carolina.
Is sole custody actually best for the children?
The question you need to ask yourself before deciding to pursue sole custody is whether you have a justification for doing so. The courts want to make custody rulings that are in the best interests of your children, and that will usually require giving both parents time with the kids.
Does your ex have a severe substance abuse problem that you believe would lead to neglect and child endangerment? Do they have a history of anger management issues and physical violence? When one parent has credible concerns about the safety of the children in the custody of the other parent, the South Carolina courts may agree to grant them sole custody.
Still, you need compelling evidence to convince a judge to limit one parent’s access to their children. Without evidence of health issues, abuse or neglect, a judge is unlikely to grant you so custody. In fact, they may take a very dim view of your desire keep the other parent away from the children. The less cooperative you seem, the more likely a judges to worry about parental alienation and potentially reduce your parenting time and authority accordingly.
Embracing the reality that shared custody is the standard in most divorces can help you prepare a custody strategy that will actually work for your family.