Asking for sole custody in a Minnesota divorce is sometimes a fool’s errand because there is little chance of success. There are parents who ask for custody as a way to punish their ex or feel like they won the divorce. Those are not healthy or positive motivations, and family law judges tend to frown on those who want to interfere in the relationship that their ex has with their shared children.
However, there are certain situations in which the courts may agree that sole custody would be what is best for your children. When your ex has a serious substance abuse issue, you may have grounds to request sole custody without hurting your own parental rights.
Addiction often leads to neglect or even abuse
A parent who finishes off a fifth of liquor every weekend or who habitually takes pain medication that they don’t have a prescription for may not be as present as a parent should be.
The impact of the drugs or alcohol they use might leave them unconscious or at least unable to meet their children’s needs in an emergency. They might also become angry or aggressive while under the influence, possibly leading to physical or emotional abuse.
The negative impact of addiction on parenting is relatively well-known. Provided that you can convince the courts that the substance abuse is a real concern, they may limit your ex’s parenting time or even require supervised visitation.
Sole custody may not be permanent
Securing sole custody in the initial divorce proceedings will not be enough to permanently protect your children. If your ex undergoes substance abuse therapy and convinces the courts that they have improved their circumstances, they could ask for a modification and get more time with the children.
You should have realistic expectations when making decisions about custody in your Minnesota divorce. You can also help ensure that the children have the support they need to advocate for themselves and heal from the damage sometimes caused by cohabitating with an addict. Therapy and support groups can help children come to terms with how addiction has affected their families.
Learning the rules that govern Minnesota custody cases will help you to better protect your children in your upcoming divorce.