The social views regarding gender roles have changed dramatically over the decades — especially when it comes to childcare.
Back in the 1970s, when a couple divorced, it was just considered “normal” for the mother to have primary custody of the children. Fathers mostly got weekends and alternate holidays. Over time, however, more than 50 studies have shown that children thrive best when they have more time and develop stronger bonds with their fathers. That’s why shared parenting has become the norm.
But what happens if a father wants sole custody? Is it even possible? Or, is that turning social norms a little too much upside down for the courts?
It’s all about the best interests of the children
Fathers have the same potential for full custody of their children that mothers do. When parents disagree, child custody is always decided based on whatever the courts decide is in the best interests of the children.
There’s a pretty lengthy list of factors that the court needs to evaluate, but the parent’s gender isn’t one of them. If you want full custody of the children (with or without visitation rights of some kind by the other parent), you need to focus on why you believe that’s best. For example:
- Your spouse has struggled with chronic addiction to drugs or alcohol and has frequent relapses that make you question the safety of your children.
- Your spouse has severe, untreated mental health problems that periodically make them incapable of caring for themselves, the home or the kids.
- Since your breakup, your spouse has adopted a lifestyle that you believe is immoral and potentially dangerous to the children.
It’s not common for parents to get into pitched battles over custody these days — but it does still happen. When you have good reason to ask for full custody, don’t hesitate to learn everything you can about how the court processes work.