Sole Custody Agreements: Proving Your Case

So many people go into family court trying to get sole custody of their children that it has made it very hard for people with legitimate reasons for doing so to get sole custody.

People file for sole custody for various reasons. Some people just want to hurt their ex. Other people are looking to either get more child support or to get out of paying child support. Some people do it because they can't bear to be without their child and are afraid the other parent isn't going to take care of them as well as they do.

Judges see this day in and day out. They hear so many false claims that it makes it hard to decipher fact from fiction.

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Reasons to seek sole custody

The most important reason for seeking sole custody is to protect your child from the other parent. Children should be protected from parents that have harmed them or have the potential to cause them harm.

You should file for sole custody if the other parent has committed physical or sexual abuse against your child or any other child. Other reasons for filing for custody include child neglect, incapacitating mental illness, substance abuse, abandonment, criminal activity that affects the safety and well-being of the child, domestic violence, and the threat of parental abduction.

Making your case

Proving that the other parent is harmful or unfit is easier said than done. It is not likely that the other parent is going to sign off on a sole custody agreement. You will need evidence to back up your claims.

Gather official documents

Your word against the other parent's is not going to be enough. Your mother or your friend standing up in court, testifying against your ex, may be compelling but it is not going to be enough. If you can get the other parent's family member to testify on your child's behalf, it would make a substantial impression on the court, but you shouldn't rely on them to do so.

You will need to provide solid evidence to the court that the other parent has harmed the child or is a danger to the child in order to get sole custody. Your evidence should show proof of wrongdoing. Medical reports, police reports, and photographs are compelling evidence.

Ask the court to investigate

If you know or suspect your ex has been doing drugs, ask the court for drug testing. A failed drug test is a condemning piece of evidence.

If available in your state, you can also request a custody evaluation so an impartial mental health professional can take a closer look at the case.

Save communications

Save all threatening texts, emails, and voicemails. Your ex may be perfectly calm in court, but the voicemail he or she left you threatening to hurt you and take your child will prove otherwise.

Track the other parent's timeshare

Keep track of how often the other parent sees the child. If there are long absences between visits, keep an accurate log to show the judge. One way to prove your log is accurate is to suggest that the other parent provide even one photograph of your child taken on a day he or she falsely claims to have visited the child. Digital photos have a date details within the properties of the photo. Abandoning the child for long periods of time is not good for the child.

Prepare your case for sole custody

Since it's usually in the best interest of the child to have significant contact with both parents, sole custody is rare. You'll need to present a strong case in court to prove why this is the best custody arrangement for your child.

Preparing your case will require serious organization. You may need to create a parenting plan, draft multiple custody schedules, track the other parent's time with your child, calculate expenses and more.

The Custody X Change app enables you to do all of this in one place.

With a parenting plan template, custody calendars, an expense tracker and more, Custody X Change makes sure you're prepared to present your case for sole custody in court.

Take advantage of our technology to stay on top of all the moving parts of your case.

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Organize your evidence

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Long distance schedules

Third party schedules


Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

Changing your plan

Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

Product features:

Software overview

Printable calendars

Parenting plan templates

Journal what happens

Expense sharing

Parenting time tracking

Calculate time & overnights

Ways to use:

Succeed by negotiating

Prepare for mediation

Get ready for court


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