5 things to know about sole custody

There is nothing easy about divorce, especially if you have children in common with your former spouse. Making matters even more complicated is the fact that child custody concerns could complicate your situation.

As you move forward, you'll focus plenty of time and attention on two key phrases: joint custody and sole custody.

In the state of Texas, child custody can be joint or sole. Joint custody is when both parents have legal and/or physical custody rights. Sole custody, on the other hand, is when one parent has exclusive rights.

Here are five additional things you need to know about sole custody:

  1. Sole custody is rare, as the court typically finds that a joint custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. Note: This could change in the future, such as if one parent makes a poor life decision.
  2. If one parent is found to be unfit, the court may decide to grant sole custody to the other parent. Reasons for this include but are not limited to a history of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, spousal abuse or child abuse.
  3. With sole custody, the parent with custody does not have to consult with the other parent before making important decisions, such as those associated with education or childcare.
  4. Even when one parent is granted sole custody, the other parent may receive visitation rights. This means the person still has the opportunity to visit with the child, as outlined by the court.
  5. Sole custody does not mean that you have the legal right to relocate. Instead, if you plan on moving, you need to get the court's permission. This could have a negative impact on the other parent's visitation rights.

These are just a few of the more important things to keep in mind with regard to child custody. If you're going through a divorce, it's imperative to focus on the finer details associated with both joint and sole custody.

In the end, you need to do two things:

  • Learn more about your legal rights and how joint and sole custody would impact you in the future.
  • Devise a plan for working with the court, as well as the other parent, to ensure that your child will not be negatively impacted by the divorce and subsequent custody arrangement.
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