Throughout the course of a divorce, parents argue over few things more than the issue of custody. In fact, concerns regarding an ex-spouse’s lifestyle, judgment or decision making are typically brought up more during the discussion of child custody than any other time throughout the process. Although you may not agree with how your ex is living their life, it is important to understand that unless the family court sees it as an issue, it generally isn’t.
Child custody has been disputed for nearly every reason imaginable. The more controversial issues like sexuality and religion are not as argued now as they once were. As times have changed, we have become increasingly tolerant and accepting of all different lifestyles. This growth of our society’s view of the family unit has helped divorcing parents avoid bringing many of these issues to court. Unfortunately, not all child custody and parenting issues are as easily avoided.
Some divorcing parents may wish to seek full custody because of an aspect of their ex’s lifestyle that they believe poses a real risk to their child. For example, diet. Many Americans have poor diets, and so we are not easily shocked by childhood obesity. However, sometimes a parent’s decision to live an unhealthy lifestyle poses a risk to their child. When this happens, the other parent may have grounds to seek full custody. Although these types of issues are not typically found in child custody cases, if presented properly, they can substantially impact a family court’s decision to award sole custody.
It is common for divorcing parents not to agree with, or even respect the parenting practices of one another after divorce. Unfortunately, unless their lifestyle choices pose a significant threat to their child, a family court judge will likely not considerate it when determining child custody. Divorcing parents who have legitimate concerns about their child’s well-being while in the care of their ex may benefit by speaking with an experienced family law attorney.