Your Cart

The Execs and Cons of Getting Sole Authorized Custody

Whether or not you might be planning a divorce or you might be within the midst of preventing for youngster custody, it is essential that you simply perceive what it means to sue for sole authorized and/or bodily custody. Having sole custody means that you’re the first dad or mum and are liable for making all main life selections for the kid. Whereas this technique of custody is just not most popular by household courts, it’s an important consideration in case you are leaving an abusive relationship or are coping with a former partner that’s frequently unavailable.

When pursuing sole authorized custody, most mother and father assume that they’re solely arguing about sole bodily custody. In fact, that is not the one sort of kid custody that folks want to contemplate; authorized custody should even be decided.

A dad or mum who has sole authorized custody can also be the one one that has the authorized authority to make main selections on behalf of the kid. These kinds of selections sometimes contain schooling, faith, actions, household guidelines and expectations, and healthcare. Here’s a nearer take a look at the sort of custody, together with the professionals and cons of getting sole authorized custody.

Execs and Cons of Sole Authorized Custody

It is essential to keep in mind that sole authorized custody is totally different from sole bodily custody. With sole bodily custody, the kids reside at just one location. Generally, the non-custodial dad or mum will nonetheless get visitation rights together with sleepovers and holidays collectively.

However apart from that, one dad or mum has bodily custody of the kid. The one time visitation doesn’t happen is when the opposite dad or mum doesn’t need or cannot have bodily custody, resembling if it is unsafe for the kids to be with the non-custodial dad or mum due to points like abuse, neglect, instability, or substance misuse.

Having sole bodily custody doesn’t give one dad or mum the suitable to make all the choices although. For that to occur, they should even have sole authorized custody. Any such custody offers one dad or mum the authorized proper to make all selections relating to the kids.

Generally bodily custody and sole authorized custody are awarded collectively, however this isn’t at all times the case. A dad or mum can have bodily custody and never have sole authorized custody or vice versa.

In lots of states, sole authorized custody is changing into much less widespread until joint authorized custody is deemed unsafe for the kid. In consequence, joint authorized custody—which suggests mother and father share within the decision-making —is changing into the default determination in lots of household court docket programs. Listed here are the professionals and cons of sole authorized custody.


  • Reduces battle as a result of communication is proscribed

  • Makes main selections simpler as a result of just one dad or mum is legally accountable

  • Creates extra consistency and stability for the kids

  • Reduces the necessity to observe down an unavailable dad or mum to make main selections

  • Retains kids secure when one dad or mum is ill-equipped to make selections as a consequence of points like substance use, instability, and abuse

  • Eliminates confusion for teenagers if mother and father differ vastly on child-rearing beliefs


  • Will be discouraging and disheartening for the dad or mum that’s not awarded sole authorized custody

  • Might turn out to be a supply of resentment and battle

  • Will be overwhelming for one dad or mum to make all the main selections alone

  • Might restrict the involvement of 1 dad or mum and probably causes kids to view that dad or mum as much less essential

  • Might trigger pressure on the kids as a result of they solely have one dad or mum talking on their behalf

  • Might trigger the dad or mum with out authorized custody to withdraw farther from the kids

Recommendation for Mother and father

Sole authorized custody is usually interesting to oldsters due to its simplicity—nobody needs to be consulted when a choice is made. However whatever the attraction, sole authorized custody is just not meant for conditions the place mother and father merely have totally different child-rearing philosophies or problem collaborating.

As a substitute, sole authorized custody is supposed for conditions the place it’s clear that one dad or mum is extra geared up or accessible to make sound authorized selections. As an example, when one dad or mum travels outdoors the nation a terrific deal, is shifting out of state, or presents points with substance use, youngster neglect, or home abuse, sole authorized custody is an inexpensive expectation.

If each mother and father can be found and match to make affordable selections, sole authorized custody is just not the most suitable choice and courts are unlikely to grant that request. Conditions the place sole authorized custody works nicely embody:

  • One dad or mum is persistently absent from the kids’s lives and fails to keep up contact with them.
  • The mother and father dwell in numerous time zones, international locations, or states and it’s not sensible for them to make selections collectively, particularly when these selections require a direct response.
  • One dad or mum is unfit to make selections for his or her kids as a consequence of a historical past of abuse or neglect, substance use, or a debilitating sickness or psychological well being problem.

Earlier than you try to get sole authorized custody, ask your self in case you are pursuing this route as a result of it’s what’s finest in your kids. In case you are pursuing sole authorized custody since you need whole management or you do not need to need to cope with your ex ever once more, it is essential to understand that these usually are not good causes.

Youngsters profit from having lively relationships with each mother and father. In addition they profit from seeing each mother and father collaborate and compromise with their pursuits in thoughts.

A Phrase From Verywell

Sole authorized custody is an effective choice if there are points that make one dad or mum unfit or unavailable to make sound selections for the children. However pursuing sole authorized custody with no sound purpose will seemingly be denied in household court docket.

Youngsters profit tremendously from having totally different views and approaches of their lives. In the event you can, give attention to co-parenting successfully and your youngsters will profit in the long term.

By Jennifer Wolf

Jennifer Wolf is a PCI Licensed Father or mother Coach and a robust advocate for single mothers and dads. 

× WhatsApp