Studies show that children in joint custody do better than children who live with only one parent. In 2017, researchers from Uppsala University found that preschool children who divided their time equally between divorced parents in a physical joint custody arrangement had fewer psychological symptoms than those in sole custody arrangements. The courts favor joint custody for this reason. It is simply better for the children.

It is better for them – until it is not.

Reasons for pursuing sole custody

As unfortunate as these circumstances are, and as much as everybody would like to provide children with the best, stable environment for growth, you know it is time to push for sole custody if the following scenarios apply to your situation:

  • Your ex-spouse is unable to meet your child’s needs
  • He or she is not providing any financial support
  • He or she is not involved in your child’s life
  • You can provide a more stable home-life
  • Your ex-spouse is abusive towards you or your child
  • There is evidence of substance abuse

The courts generally do what is in the best interest of the child. If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, oftentimes the best choice is sole custody for one parent with visitation rights granted to the other.

Reasons to pursue termination of parental rights

Sometimes the situation is even direr. Very rarely the courts may terminate a parent’s rights for the following reasons:

  • Substance abuse that goes untreated
  • Mental illness that makes the party incapable of parenting
  • Crimes against the child or other parent
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Sexual assault

While these instances are rare, they do happen, especially if the parent in question fails to remediate and reform. Parental termination of rights is extreme and involves severing the parent-child relationship, dissolving a parent’s legal rights to their children. The parent loses visitation rights and forgoes any legal responsibilities and duties to their child, which is no small matter. The best course of action for child custody is a delicate matter that requires thorough consideration and knowledge.