When you are in the middle of a divorce and children are involved, custody may be something both parties can't agree on. If you believe that the other party is an unfit parent, you will have to prove this in court. When two parents separate, it is generally in the best interest of the children for both parents to share legal and physical custody. A parent can be considered unfit for a number of reasons, but you must be able to prove your allegations. You will have to convince the judge in your case that you are a fit parent and the other party lacks the basic skills necessary to take care of the kids.
When Domestic Violence Has Occurred
If your marriage involved domestic violence perpetrated against you by your spouse, you may be able to show that your ex has problems with anger that make them unsafe around the children. The problem in many domestic violence cases is that few incidents are reported to the authorities, and there may be very little evidence to back up your claim. If you believe your children are not physically safe in the presence of your ex, you may be able to get a restraining order that would prohibit visitation or custody.
If Your Ex is Incarcerated
One of the best ways to win full custody easily is if your ex is incarcerated. This makes it clear that they are not able to care for the children, or provide for any of their needs while in jail. Remember that full custody may only be temporary. Your ex may get out of jail soon and petition the courts for custody or visitation rights.
When Mental Health orSubstance Abuse is a Concern
Mental health and substance abuse can be intertwined, and both can be difficult to prove if your ex has not been in treatment. On one hand, if your ex is in treatment for mental illness and deemed safe, this is not going to give you the proof you need to get full custody. If on the other hand, your ex is in and out of detox for substance abuse issues, this should be proof of their instability and inability to care for the children in a consistent manner.
If you are trying to get full custody of your children, you will need to work with an attorney (such as one from Cragun Law Firm) who can help you with child custody issues.