Most divorcing parents will eventually reach shared custody arrangements either through negotiations with one another or the intervention of the family courts. However, in a minority of cases, the better outcome in a divorce may be that the children only stay with one parent, leaving the other to have visitation or possibly no access at all.
It is typically best for the children to have both parents around even after a divorce. However, there are some circumstances that make it best for the children to stay with one parent.
Cases of abuse or neglect
If your co-parent has demonstrated an inability to provide adequate oversight for the children, sharing custody could be a dangerous decision. The same is true of situations where one parent has physically abused the children in the past or abused their spouse in front of the children. Such behavior can do long-term psychological damage.
Situations involving addiction
A parent doesn’t have to physically harm their children to put them at risk. Those with chemical dependencies on alcohol or drugs could make bad decisions or even slip into unconsciousness and endanger their children. When your spouse consistently drinks too much or has a history of substance abuse that has gone untreated, it may be best for you to ask for sole custody
A long-distance relocation
Divorce is hard on kids, and they need a strong support network to overcome the stress of the changes to their family. Sometimes, parents going through divorce will apply for new jobs far away or decide to move back home to family. If your spouse is going to move so far that sharing custody would not be feasible, a relocation could be grounds to ask for sole custody as well.
Knowing when the courts might consider your request versus when they will view it as inappropriate can help you make better choices regarding the care and custody of your children in a divorce.