Generally speaking, the court doesn’t want to give full custody to one parent or the other, cutting the second parent out. Courts would rather see both parents work together. However, this isn’t always possible. Below are a few key reasons that full custody may be used.
— One parent is deemed to be unfit. If that parent has neglected to care for the child while the two were together, or if he or she has abused the child, the court may decide the parent is unfit for the job. The child’s best interests are always the main goal.
— The child asks for it. The court won’t do everything the child asks, and the age of the child obviously comes into play here. Again, though, the child’s best interests are the main focus. If the court is undecided and the child expressly asks for one parent to get full custody, the judge may go along.
— One parent is absent. Remember that this means the parent is really not part of the child’s life, not just that the child lives with the other parent. It means that parent hasn’t been there to raise the child, doesn’t contribute financially and does not have a relationship with the child.
As you can see, these are drastic situations. The court is trying to keep the child safe and create a reasonable living situation. Again, in most cases, that means both parents can be involved, and the court does usually seek a solution that keeps the child in both parents’ lives. Whenever they go to court, parents in Collin County need to make sure they know their rights and what factors influence the court’s decisions.
Source: Livestrong, “Reasons for Full Custody,” Jackie Lohrey, accessed Dec. 12, 2016