Child custody matters are often difficult for parents to work through. If one parent isn’t interested in seeing the child or if there are other circumstances that mean one parent can’t have an active part in the child’s life, the other parent will likely be granted sole custody. Understanding what this means can help you to determine how you should move forward with things pertaining to your child.
Sole custody arrangements aren’t very common any longer. These arrangements give one parent all decision making powers for the child. It also awards that parent exclusive physical custody of the child. It is sometimes possible to have sole legal custody without sole physical custody or vice versa.
Having sole custody doesn’t mean that the child’s other parent can’t see the child. In most cases, visitation orders are still in place. You would have to follow the order for visitation if the child’s other parent opts to exercise visitation rights.
Just because you have sole custody doesn’t mean that you have free reign. There are some points that you will still have to discuss with the court. One of these is relocation. Your custody order might dictate that you notify the court and the other parent if you plan on moving out of the area with the child.
Being awarded sole custody will likely come with some considerations and some questions. Make sure that you understand exactly what you are entitled to do and what responsibilities you have. This gives you the basis for making decisions that are within the scope of the agreement and that are in your child’s best interests.
Source: FindLaw, “Sole Custody,” accessed Feb. 24, 2017