I have worked with numerous women since I went through my custody trial, many of them as human being to human being. I have helped people long before I started making it into a business. A pattern I see in women is that they don’t feel they should go for full custody, not because they don’t deserve it, but because they want to be fair. I have heard these exact words repeatedly, “I’m not trying to take him/her away from his/her father.”
I have seen the sole custody vs. joint custody battles play out. In every case, it was involving the father, who didn’t like something the mother was doing or had done, filing for sole custody. Listen, ladies, when he does this, he is not trying to be nice. He doesn’t have a problem if he “takes the child away from the mother.”
Family court is not the place to be fair. It is the judge’s job to be fair. Family court is the place to state what you want the outcome to be for you and your child(ren). It isn’t up to you to tell the judge what your ex should have, either. That is your ex’s job. If he cannot express what he wants, that is really not your problem. He should have an attorney to help him with that. Think about it, he isn’t trying to be fair to you if he has filed for sole custody.
I wrote a post about asking for what you want and the problem with joint vs. sole custody. You can read about that here.
I am not an attorney and these are my opinions based on my experience. You should always check with your attorney and not take as gospel something you read on the internet, but I will tell you that in every case I have seen where one party asks for sole custody and the other party asks for joint custody, the person asking for joint custody loses. In every case, and there have only been three, where both parties asked for sole custody, the moms were able to prove that they were the one more involved with the child’s upbringing, and they all three won sole custody. It makes sense if you think about it. People who can cooperate and coparent enough to agree to do it do not end up in court. People who cannot resolve their own conflicts are the ones who end up in court. If you are proving that you cannot resolve your own issues cooperatively, then it is a tough sell to say that you can manage joint custody under the Minnesota Statutes.
Remember that sole custody has nothing to do with parenting time. Just because a parent has sole custody, it does not mean that the other parent doesn’t get to see the child anymore or be involved with the child. It does mean that the losing parent has no say in decisions about the child. If you do go to court asking for sole custody, and the court rules in favor of you having sole custody, you have a responsibility not to shut the other parent out of the child’s life. You can still involve them in decisions if you want, but when you don’t agree, the decision is yours to make.
Stop the battle by being responsible. Ask yourself if you and the other parent can work together to do what is best for the child. If the answer is no, how would joint custody work?
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