It is not uncommon for parents, particularly those driven by anger at a spouse during divorce, to tell our attorneys, “I want sole custody.”
In our many years of practice at Worsham Law Firm, P.A, we have found that there is a disconnect between what people think of as “sole custody” and what the law considers it to be.
Legal Vs. Physical Custody
Custody is broken up into two segments: legal custody and physical custody. When a parent says “I want sole custody,” that almost always translates to “I want my child to live with me” or “I don’t want him/her to see my child.”
One of these is a realistic option in many divorce cases, but the other is not.
Sole Physical Custody And Primary Physical Custody
Depending on your circumstances — such as being the primary caregiver for your child —it is not unrealistic to pursue primary physical custody. This means your child will primarily live at your residence. In most cases, it is preferred that a child have overnights with both parents, leaving sole physical custody an option for situations where one parent presents a danger to the child as a result of domestic violence or substance abuse.
Sole Legal Custody
It is extremely rare for a parent to be granted sole legal custody. This would leave one parent with the right to make all decisions about the child’s upbringing, including education, health care and religion. Unless one parent gives up their parental rights or is deemed unfit or dangerous, sole legal custody is not realistic.
We Can Help You Find The Right Option For Your Children
Parents in Little Rock and throughout central Arkansas have relied on our firm to resolve custody issues for more than 30 years. You can turn to us for an honest assessment of your case. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer.