What You Need to Know About Seeking Sole Custody in California

After a divorce or separation, seeking sole custody of your children may the next important step in protecting the best interests of your family. Yes, child custody cases can be both complex and unpleasant. This is especially so if one of the parents is believed to be unfit or unable to adequately care for the child due to many different reasons such as substance abuse or domestic violence.

If you’re unsure of how to seek sole custody of your child under California state laws, the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks is here to help you navigate the legal system.

What Is Sole Custody?

It’s important to have a full understanding what sole custody is. “Child custody” refers to the rights and responsibilities that a parent has for taking care of their child. There are different types of custody arrangements that a judge can order. With sole custody, just one parent has the legal right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the welfare of the child.

What people don’t know is that sole custody can be two different forms: sole legal custody and sole physical custody.

Requesting Sole Custody in California

It’s important to note that California’s family law courts typically favors that a child has frequent contact with both parents and encourages joint custody. Therefore, there has to be a compelling reason for a judge to award full or sole custody to one parent. A parent seeking sole custody should know that simply your word is not enough to stand up in court. In fact, you need to be able to provide persuasive evidence that the father or mother is not fit to have legal claim over the child they share.

What kind of evidence can you use to support a sole custody request? In cases where domestic violence was an issue, findings supporting this claim such as a police report can persuade the court to grant sole legal and physical custody in favor of the parent who was the victim of the domestic violence. California family courts also take substance abuse into consideration when determining sole custody. This often includes alcohol abuse, prescription medication misuse and the usage of other illicit drugs. An allegation is not enough for the court to grant full custody. Therefore, you’ll need to obtain an order for a drug and alcohol test.

The primary goal when seeking full custody is to show that it is in the best interest of the children. You’ll have to show that the other parent’s lifestyle and behavior compromise the general well being of the child. Sometimes scheduled or monitored visitations may be an alternative to sole custody. Or the judge may grant another type of order.

Are You Facing Allegations in a Child Custody Dispute?

For a parent facing a full custody request, you must provide strong evidence that you are capable of taking care of your responsibilities as a parent. If the other party made drug or alcohol allegations, you’ll have to show that such accusations are false. On the other hand, if drugs or alcohol were an issue in the past you can provide evidence that you successfully completed a rehabilitation program. Or you can show that you’ve found other ways to eliminate your addiction issues.

You should take false allegations of domestic violence or abuse seriously. This requires immediate action. Undocumented abuse or failure to provide witnesses to support such claims will create he said and she said scenario. In cases like this, you’ll need to seek the help of a good family law attorney.

Contact a California Lawyer to Learn More About Sole Custody Cases

Cases in which a parent is seeking full custody can be complex and emotionally charged. Whether you’re dealing with a former partner who is unfit to care for the child or your the one being painted as a bad parent legal help is necessary. The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks has over a decade of experience in dealing with such cases. Let us help you determine the best strategy for your sole custody case.