Can one parent demand sole custody to punish the other?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Child Custody |

Breakups and divorces have a way of turning ugly even if people have always promised one another that they would handle the end of their relationship with dignity and kindness. All of a sudden, people who have spent years together act in ways that make them unrecognizable to one another and that they would find embarrassing in almost any other context.

Someone who has always claimed to put the children first might begin acting in very petty ways that could cause long-term emotional damage to the children. Does a parent dealing with a vindictive ex have to worry that they could lose access to their children because of what the other parent says or does in family court?

Judges want to do what is best for the children

The good news for someone worried that the other parent will stop at nothing to interfere in their relationship with their children is that judges frequently witness such misconduct and typically take a very dim view of it. Attempts at parental alienation or interference in one parent’s relationship with the children out of personal vindictiveness are common enough that judges are often wary of any parent who wants to cut the other out of the children’s lives without a very good reason.

There are only a limited number of reasons why a Nebraska family law judge would ever consider limiting one parent’s access to the children. They include:

  • domestic violence
  • substance abuse
  • extreme health concerns
  • neglect
  • abandonment
  • lasting instability in housing or employment

Barring situations where parents have proven unwilling or unable to meet the needs of their children, judges typically want to give both parents as much time with the children as possible. Additionally, claims alone will not be enough to convince a judge to limit one parent’s time with the children. The parent-making allegations about someone’s inability to care for the children will need documentation supporting their claims.

A positive relationship will be good for the children

Those who are ready to fight for parenting time, if necessary, can benefit from keeping their perspective focused on their children. A good relationship will benefit the children emotionally and socially in most cases, and judges are well aware of how important it is to keep both adults actively involved with their children (in most cases). Being willing to facilitate a co-parenting relationship, even if your ex is acting uncharacteristically cooperative, will only make your approach look more attractive to a judge. Learning more about the Nebraska approach to contested custody matters can help parents feel more confident about asking for time with their children with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.