The process of divorcing can be quite emotional. Adding a child custody dispute can make it even more distressing. Yet, it may be important to fight for your right to sole custody – or, at minimum, primary custody – if you believe that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is unfit to raise your child because they have a disease, addiction, anger issues or any other problem that could truly affect your child’s well-being.
With that said, you may be very apprehensive about how your spouse is likely to react when you propose your approach. When things don’t go their way, they may become irrationally angry. You want to act in your child’s best interest, but you’re not sure what to do.
Proving that your spouse is unfit for custody
There are certain pieces of evidence that can impact child custody cases. These include photos, recordings, text messages or voicemails showing your ex behaving suspiciously.
Records of drug arrests, DUIs or DWIs can be used to demonstrate a struggle with addiction. Additionally, evidence of domestic abuse such as photographs, witness accounts, police reports or medical records can show that you and your child have been subjected to abuse.
In the case of illness, medical records and sworn testimonies from physicians and nurses can be used to demonstrate your ex-spouse’s incapacity to retain custody.
Taking it a step further
You may also wish to gather evidence of unfit living conditions maintained by the other parent. These concerns may include:
- Neglect, which can be categorized as emotional, physical, medical or educational
- Abuse, which can be sexual, emotional or physical
- A record of frequent visits from child protective services will be a major red flag to the court.
If you feel that your spouse is not fit to take care of your child and you want to pursue sole or primary custody, consider speaking with an experienced legal advisor to discuss your options, as this is not an easy undertaking and you’ll need support moving forward.