(37 Ratings & Reviews)

Justice. One Client at a Time.


What Are the Benefits of Obtaining Primary Custody in a Divorce?

What Are the Benefits of Obtaining Primary Custody in a Divorce?

When considering if primary custody is the right option for your family, there are key points to consider. We look at the factors influencing this decision.

There’s no getting around it: children often suffer when parents get divorced. Most experts recommend being on the lookout for emotional responses like frustration, guilt, and anxiety, but it’s not always easy to figure out how to help young kids through their struggles.

One thing worth trying, if the situation demands, is seeking primary custody. This type of custody means that your children will live with you most of the time. The arrangements will also dictate how much time your children spend with your partner.

Primary custody has some helpful benefits for both you and your children. In some situations, it may even be the only viable path forward. Here are a few reasons you might want to consider this option. 

More Time With the Children

For most parents, the biggest benefit of primary custody is more parenting time. The moments you spend with your children are invaluable. When going through a divorce, it’s understandable that both parents will want to have as much time as they’re used to with their kids. 

Becoming the primary custodial parent means that more than half of your children’s time will be with you. This means more parenting responsibility, of course, but the benefits far outweigh the cost.

As your children get older, your support, parenting style, and influence will affect the way they grow up and who they grow into. For most parents, this is the most rewarding part of raising kids, and it’s easier to see it in practice when you and your children share the bulk of your lives.

Protection From Your Partner

On the flip side of the coin, one benefit of spending more time with your kids is that your partner will spend less time with them.

The decision to keep kids away from one of their parents should never be a reactionary or vengeful one. Instead, it should be because you believe spending time with your partner is not in your kids’ best interests. In this case, you should talk to your divorce lawyer about pushing for primary child custody.

Primary custody can be crucial if you think your partner may be unwilling or unable to cooperate in co-parenting.

They may be angry, bitter, or vengeful. This can cause them to act in self-centered ways that don’t provide the right support for the children. They may even try to turn your children against you, which can be harmful to your relationship.

You are more likely to get primary or sole physical custody if your partner has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence. In these cases, the court may base their chosen custody arrangements on protecting the children’s well-being.

Better Living Situation

If your divorce is amicable but your ex-partner can’t provide an adequate living situation, primary custody may be the most beneficial solution for your kids.

This may be the case if their living situation is unstable or requires frequent relocation. Cramped spaces, unsafe neighborhoods, and a lack of heat or running water can also be red flags. If the environment exposes your children to unsafe or adult behaviors, the court may show a preference for you as the primary custodial parent.

It’s unfortunate, but even well-meaning parents can’t always offer adequate care. When this is the case, the other parent should step in and get primary custody to provide a harmonious living situation for the children.  

More Consistency

Getting primary custody for a single parent can create more consistency for the kids. Whether you have a contested or uncontested divorce, having a single parent act as the chief decision-maker and provider is often in the children’s best interests.

Primary custody helps keep your children from getting shuttled endlessly back and forth between your house and your partner’s. It creates a stable foundation and causes less disruption to their everyday routines. They’ll still have visitation with their noncustodial parent, but these visits are often shorter events that won’t wreak havoc on their schedule or stability.

As a bonus, the added consistency can often lower the chances of arguments between co-parents. With primary custody, you’ll reduce the need to coordinate with (and thus meet) your partner. For contentious divorces, this is often preferable.

Long-Distance Parenting

If you or your ex have relocated to a new city or state, shared parenting can become complex. Choosing custody arrangements that keep the children from moving around is best for creating stability.

It also makes decision-making easier, negating the need for tedious, long-distance, time-wasting communications. In some cases, the ability to make important decisions for your child fast can be critical.

Children’s Preferences

If your children are old enough to make their own decisions about their living situation, getting primary custody may be in line with their preferences. If your child decides that they’d rather live with you instead of your partner, the court may consider this preference when weighing custody arrangements.

Financial Support

If you have primary custody, your partner will owe you money for child support. The amount will vary from case to case, but it can help cover the expenses of child-rearing. Note that child support payments won’t help with every cost of raising kids, but they can still help you support them as they grow.

In addition, there are federal tax benefits to claiming a child on your tax return. In most cases, the parent with primary physical custody is allowed to claim the child as a dependent, which can help you save a significant amount of money.

Start Fighting for Primary Custody

If the benefits above appeal to you, it may be time to start fighting for primary custody. This arrangement can be ideal for you and your children, allowing you to ensure their stability, safety, health, and happiness.

When securing primary custody is crucial, you need help from an expert legal team. With years of experience in family law and a track record for winning, we’re here to offer trustworthy representation. Call (701) JUSTICE or fill out our online form for a free in-person or virtual case evaluation today.