Particularly if you do not get along very well with your ex-spouse, the idea of trying to co-parent with him or her may seem like cruel and unusual punishment. Many divorcing parents wonder if it is worth trying to get sole custody of children.
While having your ex-spouse out of your life entirely may seem like heaven, it is rarely a good idea to try and get sole custody of your children. Attempting to do so can end up making your divorce much more expensive and it can even backfire on you.
Why would this make my divorce more expensive?
It is highly likely that if you try to get sole custody of your children that your divorce will end up in court. Collaborative or mediated divorces tend to be far less expensive than trial divorces and they take much less time. Staying out of court can shorten your divorce proceedings by over a year in some situations. The less time that your divorce ends up taking, the shorter that it will be.
How can it backfire?
Joint custody is not a popular arrangement because the courts like to torture parents. Rather, joint custody is in the best interests of children in the majority of cases. Children do best with both parents supporting them, even if the parents are no longer married to each other.
Trying for sole custody may give the judge the impression that you are not willing to do what is in the best interest of the child. Rather, the judge may believe that you are acting in your own self-interest. This can backfire against you when the judge is making decisions relevant to child custody.