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Should I try for sole custody of my children?

If you have children with your ex-spouse, the prospect of continuing to have to parent with them after your divorce may not seem very enticing. It is for this reason that many people wonder if they should attempt to get sole custody of their children.

However, in the majority of cases this is not a good idea. Fighting for sole custody may result in you losing a lot of control in the terms of your divorce and it is possible that the attempt could backfire.

How can this make me lose control?

It is almost certain that if you try for sole custody of your children, your divorce will end up in court. If your divorce goes to trial, this means that all decision-making is in the hands of an impartial judge.

There are some situations where having the judge hold this kind of control is positive. However, in the majority of situations the people going through the divorce can make better, more personalized decisions if they can negotiate with each other. You know your kids and family situation better than any judge. Why give a judge more power than necessary?

How can this backfire?

Again, the judge in your divorce case does not know you or your situation on a personal level. Making a bid for sole custody can indicate to the judge that you are not willing to do what is traditionally in the best interest of the child: co-parent.

In most situations, children do best with a joint custody arrangement. Thus, if you do not have very compelling reasons to seek sole custody (normally related to abuse or addiction on the part of the other parent), your desire to parent solo may reflect unfavorably on you.