There are different types of sole custody when it comes to children — sole physical custody, sole legal custody or both of these combined. Although most courts in Michigan look upon shared child custody as the ideal situation for children, there may be times when sole custody is actually in their best interests. Firstly, it’s important to know the difference between the types of custody.
A parent who has primary physical custody of a child means the child lives with him or her, but has visits (sometimes supervised) with the other parent. Those who have sole legal custody of their kids means that they make all the important decisions regarding their children without the input of the other parent. Those decisions can concern education, health care, religion and parenting style. Sometimes one parent has both physical and legal custody of the children.
Why might a parent consider sole custody?
When children need to be protected from a parent who is dealing with tough issues, the other parent might want to consider sole custody. Some of those issues could include:
- If abuse has been or is a part of the child’s life — whether that is physical or sexual.
- If one parent has been known to have neglected the child’s needs by failing to provide health care, shelter, food dental care, adequate supervision, etc.
- If a parent is suffering from a mental illness that impedes her of her from caring for the child or that could lead to impulsive or irrational behavior.
- If a parent is battling substance abuse, like drugs or alcohol, that affects seeing to the needs of a child.
- If a parent shows no interest in maintaining a relationship with his or her children and has essentially abandoned them.
- If a parent is incarcerated.
- If one parent is planning on leaving the country or state.
There are so many points to consider when it comes to child custody. So many, in fact, that it could leave one’s head spinning. Michigan residents who need answers to questions relating to their children in a divorce situation might be wise to seek independent legal advice from a lawyer experienced in family law.