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What are the benefits of sole custody?

Sole custody is not handed out by courts as often as joint custody. However, when it is, it's often because of issues like abuse, mental disorders, or dependence on drugs or alcohol. In essence, the court is trying to protect the child by keeping him or her out of a dangerous situation. One parent may seem unfit to raise a child, while the other is not.

Besides protecting your child, what are some of your benefits if you get sole custody?

One big upside is that it could be easier for you to move. If you and your ex both have custody or if your ex has visitation rights, a move may be denied by the court. If your ex isn't allowed to see the kids and you have sole custody, you get more freedom for your family.

Another upside is that you get to decide what your child does and the life he or she is going to lead. Parents make huge decisions, like where the child will attend school, what religion he or she will be raised in, and what medical care should be provided. Those with sole legal custody get to make these decisions without having to consult the other parent.

Furthermore, the parent without custody typically has less access to the child's personal information. This could include medical records, grades and other school records, information about sports teams or other after-school activities, and the like. As the custodial parent, you get more control and your child's privacy is protected.

It can be hard to seek sole custody, since courts often tend to prefer joint custody. If you'd like to do so, you need to know what legal steps are necessary.

Source: Huffington Post, "How To Divorce: How Can I Get Full Custody Of The Kids?," Michele F. Lowrance, accessed Feb. 23, 2017

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