It interesting how many people fight for sole custody when they are in the heat of the divorce battle. Is that really the best thing for the children? Sure, if there is abuse or neglect involved then absolutely it is the best route to take. But, a lot of people use it as a tool to hurt their ex. They are feeling hurt so to fight back, they threaten to take the children away.
Every state has different child custody laws. My ex and I essentially did our divorce ourselves, but we did consult an attorney on a couple of issues. The attorney basically told us that Texas is a 50/50 custody state unless a parent gives up some of their custody willingly or the other parent is able to prove abuse or neglect. Thankfully, we didn’t have those issues going on so we split the custody of our son evenly.
While I absolutely would have been happy with having my son full-time, I read a lot on shared custody agreements while finding a schedule that worked best for us. Shared custody doesn’t necessarily mean that the custody is split 50/50. It simply means shared time with the child. And typically divorced parents still want to have a good relationship with their children and vice versa.
A 2017 study conducted by Stockholm University stated that “children living with only one of the parents have a higher likelihood of experiencing stress several times a week, than children in shared physical custody. This generally applies even if the parents have a poor relationship, or if the children don't get along with either of them.” It theorizes that when the child has an active role in both of their parents’ lives, the relationship between the child and both of its parents become stronger and it is better for the children’s well-being.
If you are currently going through a divorce and are asking for full custody of your children, take a step back and ask yourself why. Is it what is truly in the best interest of your children? Is there no benefit in having a strong relationship with their other parent? And while you are contemplating what is best for your children, also try to think about what is best for your own future. It took me awhile post-divorce to get there, but I have learned to enjoy my Wednesday evenings of meeting up with friends or sitting on my couch getting to watch my own shows on Netflix. There is nothing wrong with learning to enjoy your kid-free time. In fact, I believe I am a better mother, friend, partner, and co-worker because of it.