The idea of having sole custody after divorce can be a pleasant one. You might imagine yourself spending all day every day with your children without the tension of your relationship with your ex overshadowing your happiness.
For most parents facing divorce or shared custody following a breakup, that dream of sole custody will remain a fantasy. There is a presumption in state law that shared custody will be what is in the best interests of the children.
If you hope to limit your ex’s time with the children, you will need to convince the judge presiding over your divorce that your ex is not capable of parenting the children and that limiting their access to the kids will be what is best for the children.
It is important that you consider this standard as you plan for custody litigation, as you may hurt your own custody case otherwise.
Parents who are uncooperative may look bad to the courts
Given that judges assume that shared custody will be the best outcome for the children, they will question the motivations of a parent who tries to prevent their ex from maintaining a relationship with the kids. Non-compliance with the custody order could lead to a modification that drastically reduces your parenting time and your right to make decisions for the children.
Even overt hostility toward your ex during custody proceedings or threatening to prevent their access to the children in a text message could hurt your case. A judge who thinks you will put petty vindictiveness ahead of what is best for the children may not rule in your favor during custody litigation. Choosing to cooperate with your ex and recognizing that shared custody is the standard can help you avoid a worst-case outcome that limits your time with the children.
If you want sole custody, you need a strong case
If you hope to request sole custody from the Connecticut family courts, you need some kind of documentation corroborating your request. From police reports showing that there was domestic violence at your home to hospital records showing a history of substance abuse, there may be evidence that you can gather to show that sole custody would be the best choice for your family.
Learning more about the rules for shared custody in Connecticut will help you decide the best approach for your upcoming family law matter.