Should You Fight for Sole Custody of Your Children?
Approaching a divorce, many parents feel that they should fight for sole custody of their children. Perhaps you’ve been hurt or even betrayed by your spouse and you know that you’re the best choice to raise your children and make all decisions about their care.
In cases of criminal conduct or physical or sexual abuse by a spouse, sole custody might be in the best interest of your children. However, in most divorce cases Virginia courts will prefer to award joint custody over sole custody. Should you fight for sole custody?
Before you make that decision, you should talk with Family Law Attorney Marcy Jones to get the information you need to make an informed choice. Your choice here will impact aspects of your divorce, your relationships with your children, and the chances for success of any co-parenting arrangements. Here are some aspects of the typical divorce custody decision that you may not be aware of.
- A custody battle is rarely, if ever, in the children’s best interest.
- Judges are just people, and while they generally do their best, they do not know or love your children and never will.
- The Judge will be making decisions about your children and your life, based on less information than your favorite aunt ever would.
- Although the Judge will make decisions about your children, she or he prefers not to have to make decisions about what is best for your children. Judges don’t like custody cases. How could they?
- The Judge might not decide conclusively. Instead, the Judge might ask you and your spouse to come back to court later to review how things are going for your children since you were last in court.
- The Judge might make a decision totally at odds with your goals.
- You and your lawyer can’t pick the Judge.
- Not every Judge will deal with your parenting issues the same way.
- Although the legislation is gender neutral, the application of it is not necessarily gender neutral.
- The Judge has a limited time period in which to make decisions about children.
- Because of the way the court system operates, even the best Judge can get it “wrong.”
- The judge could get it “wrong” in a way that is not open to appeal. An appeal is not a retrial.
Marcy has been practicing law in the courts of Central Virginia for more than 20 years. She’s trained in mediation and collaborative divorce practice and she’s highly skilled at negotiating child custody issues and co-parenting agreements that will work for the best interests of you and your children.
Don’t make bad decisions based on bad information — those bad decisions will affect you and your children for many years to come. Call Family Law Attorney Marcy Jones at 434-845-2463 for honest, caring advice and guidance based on many years of experience.