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You love your child so much that you can’t imagine having times when you don’t see them. On top of that, you don’t trust your spouse. The last three times you left your child alone with them, your child threw tantrums when you got home. Whenever you’re gone, they’re suddenly “uncontrollable” and are disciplined by your spouse. You’re not sure what that discipline entails, but when your child talks about the other parent, it’s not with kindness.

You’re worried that your child may be a victim of abuse or simply that your spouse doesn’t know how to parent well enough to have custody of your child alone. Is it a good idea to bring this up to court? What can you do to get sole custody?

If you want sole custody, evidence and support are key

To start with, a judge will want to do whatever is in the best interests of your child. If there are police records of abuse or statements from people who have seen your spouse hit your child, those could be used in court to show that they are not capable of having unsupervised custody. On the other hand, making allegations without any evidence could be a bad idea, because doing so won’t paint you in the best light.

If you’re going to try to get sole custody, keep records of every conversation you have with your spouse. Talk to friends and family, neighbors and others. If your child is old enough, the court may want to hear what they have to say as well. 

Be prepared to tell the court why shared custody isn’t in your child’s best interests, but back up your statements with facts you can prove. Doing this will give you the best chance of success. It’s also wise to have experienced legal assistance. There’s a lot at stake in every custody battle.