Having sole legal custody is rewarding for many California parents. It means you are the only one who can legally make decisions for your child. However, it is beneficial to consider the pros and cons before entering into any legal arrangement with an ex-spouse.
Pros of sole legal custody
Sole legal means you can guide your child in a way that you think is most beneficial without the opinion of an ex-spouse complicating the situation. When parents have different views regarding politics, schooling and religion, a child can become confused.
In situations where parental conflict and abuse have led to separation, receiving sole legal custody means not exposing children to addiction, violence or emotional abuse. They would benefit by not seeing you and your partner argue.
Creating consistency is another benefit when looking at sole child custody. Your child will know who their teacher will be, where their bedroom is and other details.
When considering options for child custody and visitation, receiving sole legal custody will require you and your ex-partner to create a parenting plan. The plan states the responsibilities of each parent and establishes visitation rights for the noncustodial parent. It could include how the child will get disciplined, protocols for new marriages and dating and how visitation transfers will occur.
Cons of sole legal custody
If you get sole legal custody, you will only make your child’s important life decisions. While this has benefits, it can be stressful and cause you to second-guess yourself. It can also be lonely.
If your ex-partner receives child visitation rights, things can get complicated. It can be devastating for them and stir up resentment. You may later regret their limited involvement in your child’s life.
The decision about who gets custody of children should not be taken lightly. Considering the pros and cons can help prioritize the child’s best interests.