If you have reason to believe that your child’s other parent is not fit to be caring for your shared children, you may have to bring them to court for sole custody of your children.
Unfortunately, this happens more often than it should, but when your child’s other parent is not capable or competent, sometimes it is the only option you have to ensure that your children are safe. Continue reading to learn more about what sole custody is and when it can be granted in Pennsylvania.
What It Means to Be Granted Sole Custody
There are a couple of different ways that a sole custody arrangement can pan out. First, you could be granted sole physical custody of your kids. This means that you will become the custodial parent and their other parent will be the noncustodial parent. In this arrangement, your children will primarily reside with their custodial parent and typically have a set visitation schedule with their noncustodial parent.
You can also be granted sole legal custody of your children. This arrangement means that you will be the only one who has a say in the the children’s upbringing.
You will be able to make all the decisions, such as where your children will go to school, their medical decisions, what activities they will participate in, and what religion they will be raised within, among other things. This is without regard for the wishes of their other parent.
It is important to note that sole custody arrangements are rarely granted, as the Pennsylvania courts firmly believe that it is in the best interests of the children to spend as much quality time as possible with both of their parents. Below we review what you will need to prove in order to be awarded sole custody.
The Best Interests of the Child
Since a sole custody arrangement severely limits the amount of time one parent spends with their children, it is not awarded frequently. You will need to establish that it is not in the best interests of the children to have their other parent be the primary caregiver or make important decisions regarding their lives.
Perhaps your child’s parent has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, or maybe they have been known to be violent or aggressive in their relationship with you. In any case, there needs to be sufficient evidence that demonstrates that their involvement in their children’s lives is not in the best interest of the children.
That is not to say that the children will not be able to see their other parent ever again. But for the time being, it may be better that you remain the custodial parent and legal custodian. Your lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to support your case when you petition the courts for sole custody of your children.
Consult with a PA Child Custody Lawyer
When you need assistance obtaining sole custody of your kids, seek help from a seasoned PA child custody lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. You can schedule your initial case review today when you fill out the brief online contact form below or give our office a call at 1-844-VARI-LAW (827-4529).