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In the majority of divorce cases, the soon-to-be ex-spouses involved are able to hammer out an agreement on the issues that need to be addressed so that they can spare themselves the emotional turmoil and financial costs of litigating every issue in the courtroom. However, there are some divorce cases in which the contentiousness of the matter is simply too great to overcome and there is no way an agreement can be reached in the case. In such cases, child custody issues oftentimes are the main problem to address. This is especially true if one of the parties is pursuing “sole custody” of children in a high-conflict divorce case.

Many of our readers in Texas may know that, these days, family law courts prefer to award “joint custody” of children in divorce cases, so that both parents can have input on how the children will be raised. Gone is the presumption that the mother should be awarded custody in most cases. It is generally understood these days that children need both of their parents in their lives to have the best chance of coming through the emotional rigors of a divorce with the least amount of psychological impact.

But, that doesn’t mean that there are not certain situations in which sole custody is still appropriate. For example, when allegations of alcohol or drug abuse are involved in a drug case, or even child abuse, a family law court is all but compelled to consider whether or not awarding sole custody of the children involved to one parent over the other is in the best interests of those children. A family law court simply cannot expose children to the threat of harm, whether it is physical or psychological.

As our readers can imagine, pursuing sole custody of children in a high-conflict divorce case can certainly lead to some tense situations in court. However, if parents believe that sole custody is in the best interests of their children, the emotional toll of pursuing sole custody may be worth the effort.