Here we explain what the various child custody phrases used, Shared Custody, Joint Custody, Sole Custody, and Full custody. Then we'll link you to a page where you can find what judges have done in situations like yours.
How to Get Shared Custody
Shared child custody means physically sharing your child. Whereas Joint child custody means the sharing the legal responsibilities of your child.
Getting shared custody is easier than getting sole custody.
Getting shared custody should be expected, but unfortunately it's just not. Perhaps biases still exist in family court judges, perhaps some other reason. The single most important factor in getting more custody is why. For you to explain the why, you need to show what happened. Your proof has to be believable. To show what happened that's believable, you must journal routinely so the judge can see the pattern you see.
How to Get Joint Custody
Shared child custody means physically sharing your child. Whereas Joint child custody means the sharing the legal responsibilities of your child. As examples, both parents decide legal custody when they decide about what medical treatments their children should and need to go through, what school the children will attend, or what classes they should take, or what organized sports they will play.
It's best when parents can decide these things between themselves. But unfortunately, that doesn't always happen, so a judge can decide for you, which may not be good to either of you.
Most of the time, judges will give both parents equal legal custody. They hope that parents can put their differences aside, meet, and decide between themselves.
To get joint legal custody, first read case law that's just like your situation. Search your county's family court website for case law. If you read joint legal custody case law, you'll find out how others have gotten it. Look at the case laws in your county or state or even federal ones to find reasons for parent not getting joint custody.
Going For Full Custody
If you're going for full custody, you have to show why it's necessary, why you're the one with it and how you can maintain stability. To obtain full custody, family court would want evidence of a good track record.
This is where good journaling can help tell your story. Family court looks for certain grounds for full custody of child. You can find case law in your state for getting primary custody.
Before you convince yourself that you're going for full custody and definitely before you ask a lawyer "how can i get full custody of my child", ask yourself what's best for your child. Is it really good for your child to grow up with only one parent?
Getting Sole Custody
Getting sole custody is rare for mothers and even more rare for fathers. This is shocking in today's age of equality for all but some stereo types still exist. Rare doesn't mean it doesn't happen, it does. Ask yourself what fighting for sole custody will do to your existing fragile relationships. Does your child really want you to have exclusive custody?
Temporary sole custody may be possible under emergency circumstances. For example, when both parents get incarcerated, a grandparent, aunt, uncle or relative may get temporary emergency child custody. If you are one of these relatives, to prove how you've been involved in the child's life, keep a journal. Then explain your track record of being involved.
What do I do?
For all these types of custody, you must follow three steps, which are explained in detail here. Simply journal what happened and when, then petition the court to change custody to enforce their order, and three explain when you get there.
In the next ten seconds you can start your journal here.
Or you can read more about what other parents did when they had the same problem.
- Going for full custody of child
- Getting sole child custody
- How to get full custody of children
- Temporary sole custody