Many California parents who go through a divorce share custody of their children. Unfortunately, in some instances, the court only deems one parent suitable, resulting in a single parent gaining sole custody. While having sole custody of your child seems like a great thing, there are pros and cons to consider.
Pros to having sole custody
Sharing child custody requires spending time separated from your children, which may cause loneliness. In true joint custody cases, children spend half their time with each parent. While this creates a sense of “fairness,” it reduces the home stability of your children. A sole custody arrangement provides stability for children, a place to call home, and a schedule to keep the whole family on track. Routines are created and followed easier because of the reduction in moving around and sharing homes.
Cons to having sole custody
Children who have grown up with their parents together will suffer during a divorce, especially when they miss the parent they are not with. Even if your ex has visitation rights, not getting to spend significant time with their other parent is a difficult challenge for most children. The parent who received sole custody often becomes the authority figure, and they struggle to maintain the same relationship with their other parent. Additionally, one parent may become more like a friend, allowing more lax rules, taking the child out to fun places and attending special events.
While sole custody can make a divorce easier on a child and their parents, it has its ups and downs. Positive aspects of receiving sole custody include a fair share of time, stability in the home, and uninterrupted routines. Conversely, loneliness and a reduction in the relationship with the parent without sole custody may cause issues with the welfare of the child. When going through the divorce process, seek your lawyer’s advice before agreeing on a custody arrangement.