One threat that people often make during a contentious divorce is that they’re going to make sure the other parent never sees the children again. They may try to use this as a bargaining tool so that they can get something else that they want, or they may just do it because of the negative emotions of the situation.
If you’re heading toward divorce and this is the type of thing your soon-to-be-ex has said to you, is there any merit? Should you be at all concerned that they can do what they’re threatening to do?
Only in specific situations
Technically, yes, some parents are granted sole custody and the other parent can no longer see the children. It does happen.
These situations are fairly rare, however. Most of the time, the court prefers to rule in favor of shared custody. They do this so as to allow both parents to have a role in the child’s life. The court doesn’t want to interfere in that — even if your ex does.
This doesn’t stop your ex from asking for sole custody, but the court will then consider what is in your child’s best interests. Your ex will face a very high burden of proof. They have to show that it’s actually better for the children if they’re not allowed to see you. Reasons may include drug use or physical abuse, for instance.
But lacking something this drastic, your ex has very little chance of getting sole custody simply on the grounds that they would rather have the children all the time. Again, the court is not worried about what your ex wants, but about what is really best for your kids. Most of the time, what is best for children is to have two parents involved in their lives, even after divorce.
Are you facing a contentious custody battle?
If you think that the custody battle with your ex is not going to go smoothly, it is absolutely crucial that you understand everything you can about the legal process and your options.