No two families are alike. Some parents have been married for years, while other families are built with unmarried parents. For some families, parents may be separated with the children sharing time with each parent. And, in some cases, only one parent is raising the child. Nonetheless, when parents split, child custody needs to be addressed. Based on the circumstances and factors surrounding the divorce, child custody can look very different for any given family situation.
Although shared custody is frequently pushed post-divorce, this may not be the most suitable situation. Parents may not live close to one another, one parent may have a stronger bond with the child or there may be safety concerns that cause the child to remain with only one parent. It may not be as common as joint custody, but sole custody still exists and is still sought out by divorcing parents in Texas.
Sole custody is when one parent has both physical and legal custody of the child. This means they have exclusive rights concerning the child. Although the non-custodial parent does not have physical or legal custody rights, that parent may be entitled to periods of visitation with the child.
The major benefit of having sole custody is that in matters of drugs or alcohol abuse, domestic violence or child abuse, for example, the child's safety and welfare are protected. It is also beneficial for the parent with sole custody, as they do not need to consult with the other parent to make important decisions about the child's life. However, it should be noted that sole custody does not impact the other parent's right to visit or mean that the parent with sole custody can relocate without the court's permission.
While there are many reasons for parents to seek joint custody, there are also many reasons for parents to seek sole custody. It is important that parents not only take the time to understand their rights in the matter, but also how they can help ensure the best interests of the child are met.