The most common child custody arrangement after divorce is co-parenting. However, particularly if you have a difficult relationship with your ex-spouse, you may be looking for sole custody.
Generally, t is very rare for courts to award sole custody in modern times. According to Findlaw, sole custody is only ever pursued by the courts in the event that one parent is legally unfit to care for children.
What is legally unfit?
If one parent has been struggling with addiction or has a history of violence, the likelihood of the other parent receiving sole custody goes up. Other than these extreme circumstances, it is rare for courts to give sole custody.
Proving a parent legally unfit can be very difficult and often leads to extremely contentious divorces. However, in certain cases it is necessary.
Why is co-parenting the norm?
In the past, it was common for the mother to end up with sole custody of children after a divorce, particularly if the children were young. However, research suggests that children thrive in an environment when both parents are equally involved in their lives, even if those parents are no longer legally married or living together.
With a co-parenting arrangement, both parents share legal and physical custody of the children. This means that the parents typically live close enough for the children to move between the houses and still be able to attend school regularly. Both parents make decisions regarding medical care, religious upbringing, and education.
Since it is the duty of the court to act in the best interest of the children, co-parenting is the most common decree.