When children are subject to child custody determinations, courts will always look to protect the children’s best interests when making choices about who will have rights to care for the youths. In Florida, a parent may share physical and legal custody of their child with the child’s other parent, or a parent may receive sole custody of the child. This post will address several reasons why a parent may wish to have sole custody of their child, but as all family law matters should be evaluated on their specific merits, readers are asked not to use this post as legal advice or counsel.
A parent may wish for sole custody of their child if they believe that their child’s other parent is unfit to provide the necessary care the child needs while the youth would be in the other’s charge. There are many ways that a parent may be considered unfit, from criminal involvement to drug addiction to other limitations that would prevent them from taking care of their child.
A parent may also lose custodial rights if there is evidence that they were abusive toward their child. Aside from any criminal charges that may result from these claims, an allegedly abusive parent would be a dangerous person to take custody of a child and would not serve a child’s best interests during the child’s time with them.
When sole custody of a child is awarded to one parent, the other may still have opportunities to spend time with the child through visitation. Visitation time can be supervised or unsupervised, lengthy or in short bursts, and such arrangements are always created in order to serve the child’s best interests.
Although sole custody orders can be obtained, many courts shy away from them unless the circumstances require them. Children often benefit from having both of their parents involved in their lives, and unless the facts of the case warrant it, sole custody awards are often rejected in place of joint custody determinations.