When it comes to custody hearings, most courts prefer to award parents joint custody. This is because it’s believed to be in the best interests of the child to have a healthy, loving relationship with both parents. There are times when sole custody makes sense, and it’s up to the parent making the claims to back them up with the right information. Very Well Family explains what parents must do when filing for sole custody of their children. 

As mentioned above, courts are very concerned with honoring the best interests of the child when it comes to custody cases. While criteria can vary from court to court, there are a few universal concerns that will be considered. For example, the court will evaluate which parent is considered the primary caregiver, whether the parent is able to provide this care on a consistent basis, whether the child is safe in the parent’s care, among many other factors, including the age of the child. 

Next, the parent filing for sole custody must bring certain documentation from the court to back up their claims. Statements from educators or other people who spend a lot of time in a child’s life can be used to verify a parent’s ability. Parents can also present things like visitation and calling schedules to show the other parent doesn’t take a true interest in spending time with the child. Report cards from school and a child’s medical records can also be provided to the court during the custody hearing. 

Finally, the way you present yourself in court will also make an impact on the judge. Be polite and civil to all court officials and your ex. Wear clothing that would be appropriate in a business setting and stay away from anything too casual or revealing. While these factors don’t necessarily speak to a person’s parenting ability, they can affect the outcome of a custody hearing.