Getting a divorce when you have children throws an additional complicated element into your case. Though you would do anything for your kids and do not consider them a complication, having kids does mean that you will need to handle child custody matters when ending your marriage. The amount of complexity your case faces will depend on how well you and the other parent can get along and what type of custody arrangement you want.
If you want to pursue sole custody of your children, it is important that you have a valid reason for doing so. Like those in most states, Maryland courts consider joint custody to be more favorable for the children involved. As a result, before moving forward with sole custody as your final goal, you may want to consider some of the negative repercussions of this arrangement.
Hardships for kids and parents
If you believe that your children would be in danger from the other parent due to abusive tendencies, alcohol or drug abuse, neglect, or other serious issues, seeking sole custody may be in the children’s best interests. However, if you consider sole custody simply because you think you would do a better job at parenting or because you want more time with the kids, you may want to consider the following difficulties that could arise from a sole custody arrangement:
- The children may start considering their other parent as less valuable because they see that parent less often.
- The other parent may feel myriad negative emotions about no longer spending a substantial amount of time with the kids.
- You and the other parent may find yourself in constant conflict over your having sole custody, which could lead to parenting difficulties and possible custody battles in the future.
- The children may feel more stress because they only have one parent to talk to about important matters and only have one parent speaking for them.
- You could even find yourself feeling overwhelmed at times because you must make all of the essential decisions for your kids on your own.
Certain circumstances certainly warrant sole custody arrangements, but if it is not an arrangement that would fully benefit the children, you may want to reconsider. Because there are always pros and cons to consider with any custody agreement, you may wish to gain information on your available options. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney could help you understand how the details of your specific case could affect prospective custody terms.