Full custody refers to child custody arrangements where only one parent has custody of the child or children. A parent who is granted full custody is often referred to as the “primary custodial parent.” The custodial parent generally has full rights with regards to legal custody (i.e., making legal decisions for the child) as well as physical custody (i.e. providing housing and necessities for the child).
In many cases, the non-custodial parent may be required to assist in the child’s upbringing by providing monthly child support payments. However, this will depend on the factors in each individual case.
Full custody is only granted if the court determines that the arrangement conforms to the child’s best interest standard. That is, full custody is not granted simply because one parent requests it. Instead, full custody is only granted if the court determines that it will truly benefit the child.
When seeking to obtain full custody, some tips to consider include:
- Be prepared to show documentation, as you may need proof that you have the capability of raising the child. This may include bank account statements and other financial statements.
- Do not falsify or exaggerate any information simply to obtain custody. This is a violation of court laws and can lead to a contempt order or even criminal charges.
- While it is necessary to point out differences between the parties, it is never a wise idea to belittle, make fun of, or insult the opposing parties.
Lastly, if full custody is not an option, there may be other suitable alternatives, such as legal guardianship, shared/joint custody, planned visitation, or other options.
As previously mentioned, the main standard in any child custody case is the child’s best interests. Legal decisions will only be approved if it can be shown that the child will benefit from those decisions.
Custody may also be determined according to other factors such as: the financial/employment background of each parent; the parent’s physical and mental health; special needs of the child; and the existing relationship between the child and each party. Child custody determinations are generally finalized into a formal child custody order once the court finalizes the decisions.
Child custody cases can often involve some fairly complicated factors. You may need to hire a qualified child custody lawyer if you need assistance with any types of legal issues. Your attorney can provide you with legal representation, advice, and guidance throughout the entire process. Also, if you have any specific requests or issues, your attorney can research the laws to determine what the best options are.