Skip to content

Child Custody | Family

Can A Father Get Sole Custody?

7 min read
Philip Ahn, Attorney

by Philip Ahn, Attorney

Filing for sole custody can be a complex and costly process. However, with professional legal help, you can navigate the complexities involved. If you need affordable legal representation for your custody case, we can assist you by connecting you with a Mothers Rights lawyer.

To keep a child away from a parent legally, you will need to obtain sole custody. However, granting sole custody is not a practice that is favored by courts. Most courts hold the opinion that co-parenting is the best option for a child’s well-being. 

Sole custody is generally only granted in extreme cases: when one of the parents can’t take care of the child. The reasons for sole custody may include concerns for the safety of the child, substance addiction, mental health issues, and more. 

Gaining sole custody is even more complicated if you want to keep a child away from their mother. Most courts will consider this to be an important relationship for your child and you will need to present very strong evidence indicating that a sole custody arrangement will be in the child’s best interest.

To help you make a strong case in a custody hearing you may want to work with a child custody lawyer. Get connected with a custody lawyer in your state today for a free consultation and to discuss your options.  

Legal Reasons for Filing for Sole Custody

There are several reasons that may give you grounds for filing for sole custody against the mother of your child. 

Incarceration. If the mother of the child had been sentenced to jail time, she will not be in a position to provide your child with due care. In most cases, during the incarceration period, the other parent will be granted sole custody.

Mental health issues. Another reason for granting sole custody to the father of the child is the mother’s mental instability. If you can prove in court that your partner lacks the mental stability to raise your child, the court will have enough grounds for granting your sole custody.

Proof of child abuse. Any form of child abuse (physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, etc.) will provide the judge with a valid reason to consider sole custody. You will need to provide the court with proof that the mother of the child is mistreating them. 

Neglect. Child neglect is a situation when a parent fails to provide the child with the needed care. This may include medical care, proper supervision, shelter, life essentials, etc. 

Neglect occurs when a parent fails to provide the child with necessary medical care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter, or other life essentials. If you can present evidence of neglect on your wife’s part, the court will most likely assume that it may occur but the future and grant you full custody. 

Substantially addiction. If your spouse has a substance abuse problem, which prevents them from taking proper care of a child, you will be awarded sole custody. 

Relocation. In some cases, both parents are fully capable of taking care of their child. However, if one of the parents decides to relocate to another state or country, any of the parents may file for sole custody. If you present proof that relocation will not be in the child’s best interests and that you are more equipped (financially or otherwise) to take care of your child, you may have a chance of gaining full custody.

Lack of interest. If the mother of the child shows no interest in the child’s life and is not interested in taking care of the child, the father can also file for sole custody and would have a good chance in court.

What Makes a Strong Sole Custody Case?

The main reason why a court may grant a father sole custody of their child is that this would be in the child’s best interests. However, as false claims during custody proceedings are common in court, you will need to present sufficient proof of the other’s parents’ inability to be part of the parenting process. 

This proof can come in many forms: official documents, medical records, police reports, photos and videos, and more. If you are filing for sole custody because the mother of the child is showing a lack of interest in the child’s life, you should present visitation records or other proof of long absences or disinterest. 

Will You Need a Lawyer to File for Sole Custody?

As you can see, sole custody cases can be pretty complicated. If you are a father filing for sole custody, your lawsuit will need to be very well-researched, and prepared and contain an abundance of proof that your child’s interests will be better protected in your care.

Almost all custody cases require the services of a lawyer. Custody laws can be quite complicated to navigate, especially if you don’t have legal experience. You are unlikely to be aware of the specifics of custody laws in your state and will have a hard time making your case for sole custody.

This is why it is strongly advised that you work with an experienced custody attorney when filing for sole custody. The first and very important thing a layer will do is give you a realistic overview of your options when it comes to sole custody. They will be able to tell you if sole custody is feasible in your situation and potentially save you a lot of money in unnecessary litigation.

If you do have a chance of being awarded full custody, your lawyer will conduct heavy research, investigate the specifics of your case, help you obtain the needed evidence, represent your interests in court, and more.

Are Custody Lawyers Expensive?

Custody lawyers can be very expensive as the work of a lawyer in a custody case involves a lot of different activities (from case research to representation in court and more). Most custody lawyers will charge you a set fee for the full set of their services. These can range from $3,000 to $10,000 and even higher, depending on how difficult your case is. What’s more, if there is any extra work to be done that is not part of the standard custody package, your lawyer will probably charge you an extra $300 to $500 per hour.

So, is there anything you can do to lower the cost of your legal fees?

How To Save Money in Legal Fees When Filing for Sole Custody?

The reason why your custody legal fees are high is that most custody lawyers provide a comprehensive set of services, which include all aspects of the legal process. This includes preparing supporting documents, filing motions, negotiating, court hearing assistance, and more. If your financial situation allows for such an investment, then it makes perfect sense to move forward with hiring full legal representation when filing for sole custody.

However, if you are working with a limited budget and are looking for ways to bring down the costs of your custody case, consider using unbundled legal services. When working with a lawyer from the Unbundled Legal Help Network, you will have the option of requesting their services to perform a specific task — or tasks. For instance, if you want to consult a lawyer about our custody options or want them to attend a court hearing with you, you can hire and pay them for just that. As a result, you will be paying much less in legal fees (sometimes as low as $500-$1,500)

Note, however, that unbundled legal services may not be the best option if your custody case is difficult and requires a lot of research. In this case, the lawyers we work with can still be of assistance to you by offering full representation. As we cooperate with smaller legal firms as well as individual lawyers, you will still be able to cut costs on your legal fees — even for full representation.

Talk to an Unbundled Custody Lawyer in your area today for a consultation on your case.

Related Blog Posts

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer?

Receive a free consultation with a more affordable lawyer in your local area