My Ex Became a Party Mom. Can I Get Sole Custody?

 Posted on April 16, 2024 in Child Custody and Visitation

local child support attorneyOne of the most difficult parts of divorce is adjusting to life after the marriage ends. It can be especially disorienting if you feel that you and your spouse are living in opposite realities. You might be grieving while your spouse’s Instagram shows she is out partying most nights. 

It is normal for newly single fathers in such a situation to want sole custody. But child custody laws are fairly rigid and courts do not like to change custody arrangements unless there is a very compelling reason. A skilled family law attorney can help you understand when you would be able to obtain sole custody of your child.

First, however, you should be honest with yourself about why you want child custody.

Why Do You Want Child Custody?

This is one of the first questions an experienced attorney will ask you, and your case depends on the answer. If it is for any other reason than the child’s best interest, filing a custody petition with a court can backfire on you.

So first ask yourself: 

  • Am I doing this to regain some of the power I feel I lost in the divorce? 

  • Am I doing this out of retaliation? 

  • Do I perhaps feel that if the child lives with me, I will not only have changed the “balance of power” but I will also be less lonely?

If the answer to these questions is yes, it may be best not to pursue more custody. A perceptive judge can tell if you have the child’s best interest at heart, and if you do not, you can be penalized by the court.

If you are genuinely concerned about the well-being of the child, however, then changing the custody arrangements — called “custody modification” — might be the best path forward. But first, you should understand how the court will approach a custody modification request.

What Will the Court Look for in a Child Custody Case?

In any child custody case, the court will aim to answer one question: What is in the child’s best interest? To find this answer, a court will look at several factors, such as:

  • The child’s educational and developmental needs

  • The child’s wishes

  • The income of each parent

  • The living arrangement of each parent

  • Any reports of abuse or neglect

  • Any reports of drug or alcohol abuse

  • Behavior by either parent that might put the child at risk

Is Your Ex’s Behavior Placing Your Child at Risk?

While your ex-spouse going out partying might be a hurtful thought, it is not necessarily dangerous for the child. If, however, you have evidence that your co-parent is seriously abusing drugs or alcohol, that could be seen by a court as a threat to the child’s well-being. If your ex’s party life prevents her from making meals for the child and she is too hungover to take the child to school, that could also be seen as dangerous for the child.

Contact an Experienced Family Lawyer

The best way to understand if you should petition for full custody is to speak with an experienced family lawyer. A skilled attorney not only understands the legal process but is also not experiencing the painful emotions that may be clouding your judgment. Contact a family lawyer who will focus on doing what is best for your child.

Share this post:
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Lawyer Directory
  • Illinois Child Support Calculator
  • Dads Divorce Law
  • Elite Lawyer
  • Illinois Best Legal Websites
  • OVC Chatbox
  • OVC Photography
  • U.S. Personal Injury Lawyer Directory
Back to Top