In a divorce, full custody is when the court awards you the sole responsibility to take care of your child. In this case, you get to make all the major decisions regarding your child such as their education, religion and so forth. Ideally, you should not be looking for full custody just to spite your spouse.
You should instead, seek the best option for your child. You must be sure that the decision is the best thing for the children before pursuing it. Many child custody attorneys in Colorado Springs, such as the Law Office of Gordon N. Shayne, will help you get full custody if you meet the following conditions.
An Unfit Parent
Different states will define ‘unfit’ differently, but qualities such as abuse or neglect are a sure hit. Additionally, if your spouse does not provide proper care for the children, it is cause for alarm. You may also need to prove to the court if your ex, has a mental addiction or is mentally ill.
In general, courts will declare such a person as an unfit parent and grant you full custody. If after six months of removing the child from the unfit parent the situation does not change, the law dictates that the judge declares a continued relationship with the said parent as bad for the child.
An Absent Parent
If your ex does not, for whatever reason, maintain contact with the child after separation, it can be grounds for sole custody. However, if the parent comes back and re-asserts their parental rights, the absent parent gets visitation rights. Note that failure to, say, pay child support or even physical absence in and of themselves are not enough to declare a parent to be absent.
The Child’s Preference
As mentioned earlier, the court seeks to do what is best for the child. This means that if the child wishes to stay with you, the judge will consider their wishes, but that alone is not sufficient grounds for sole custody. The child’s preference must come with another reason to influence the decision of the judge. The judge is likely to also ask the child in private why they prefer you before deciding.
Child custody is not a small decision, and it’s not to be taken lightly. While the judge will consider these factors and others such as the death of a custodial parent, it is vital that you as the parent do whatever is necessary to make your divorce easy for the child.