Full child custody, also known as sole custody, means that all of the parental rights are assigned to one parent. There are two kinds of “sole” custody: sole physical custody (the child lives with the parent) and sole legal custody (the parent has a legal right to make decisions for the child). Usually when people file for sole custody (rather than joint custody) it is because they see the other parent as unfit to take care of the child.
How to File for Full Child Custody
- Talk to a family law attorney. You’ll want to work with an attorney because child custody cases can be difficult. Working with someone familiar with the laws regarding custody will ensure you fill out all the correct paperwork as well as provide all the information needed for the court to award you full custody.
Visit your local court clerk or go online to learn about what petition to file. Working with a family law attorney can help with this, but you should
know that each state has its own laws regarding child custody cases. Here
are a few petitions that may apply:
- Petition to establish custody
- Petition to revise or update a petition that’s already in place
- Petition to establish paternity (if the paternity is questioned you will also need to file a petition that will mandate a paternity test before the custody request is considered) and install custody
- Fill out all of the required paperwork and then file the paperwork at the court. Make sure your attorney reviews everything before you file it. Make two copies – one for you and one for the other parent. The court will keep the original.
- After the petition has been filed you will receive a court or mediation date. Both parents will need to be present in order to reach an agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, it will need to go before a court.
The Importance of a Family Law Attorney
Child custody cases can be tough, especially as most family law courts prefer to award joint custody to both parents, as that is usually in the child’s best interest. But if you feel the other parent is unfit for any reason then you need to work with a lawyer that can help you prove that you deserve full child custody.
For advice on child custody and all it’s aspects, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.
Source: WikiHow, How to File for Full Custody, 2014