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Can you ask for sole custody in a litigated Georgia divorce?

It takes two people to create a child and a lot of effort from both parents to raise the child they share. Usually, when couples with children divorce in Georgia, they will share parental rights and responsibilities until the children reach independence.

They will each have a portion of parenting time with the kids and may also share decision-making authority about matters like the children’s education and health care. Sharing custody makes things easier for the parents and can make the changes a little easier for the children, too.

Often, the prospect of constantly seeing the other parent after divorce is a source of stress. You might find yourself thinking that sole custody would be easier because then you wouldn’t need to see your ex all the time. Is it possible for you to ask the Georgia courts to give you sole custody of your children?

It is easiest if your ex agrees

Sometimes, one parent acknowledges that they don’t have the skills, patience or free time necessary to be a functional co-parent. Maybe they have a demanding job or a history of personal struggles that would make parenting challenging.

Parents can sometimes arrange a visitation-only agreement that results in one parent having sole custody and the other having liberal visitation access.

What if your ex wants custody, too?

In situations where both parents want custody, the Georgia family courts have to look at what is best for the kids. Most of the time, children adapting to new family circumstances after a divorce will benefit from having time with both of their parents.

However, sometimes one parent won’t act in the best interests of the children. If your ex has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence, you could provide evidence of those issues to the courts to convince them to limit your ex’s access to the children.

Documentation of some kind is usually necessary for such claims; otherwise, the accused parent could counter with allegations that their spouse wants to alienate them from the children. Some people find that seeking sole custody backfires and results in the court giving them less time with the children.

Knowing what influences custody decisions can help you employ the best approach as you plan for your Georgia divorce.