Q&A: If I Sue for Sole Custody Can it Backfire on Me?

sue for sole custody
So you want to sue for sole custody…


Yes. If you sue for sole custody, and the judge thinks you are being vindictive, petty and alienating, it could backfire on you and the judge could award full custody to the other parent. The takeaway is that you should only sue for sole custody if you really believe that the children’s lives are in danger with the other parent and if you can back up this belief with credible proof.

Celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Bethenny Frankel are examples of people who have sued for sole custody when they filed for divorce. Well, Angelina did not exactly sue for sole custody. She requested it in her divorce pleadings. Bethenny, on the other hand, sued for sole custody well after the divorce was finalized. Her ex, Jason Hoppy had pleaded no contest to charges that he had stalked and harassed her and after, she went for exclusive custody of their daughter Bryn Hoppy.

Is it wise to do that? Again, it depends on the circumstances you are in. When R&B crooner Usher’s ex-wife Tameka Foster tried to get sole custody of their children, she lost custody completely and the children now reside with their father. She has visitation. So this is a risk you face. You can reach for the whole pie and lose the whole pie or you can get lucky and win the whole pie, who knows? The idea is, you are taking a risk. Because the courts prefer to have both parents in the child’s life and the court frowns on parents who try to “alienate” the children from the other parent. Increasingly, women are finding themselves losing custody outright because they were found to be attempting to “alienate” the children from their father. On the other hand, a lot of men are now custodial fathers and they too can find themselves in trouble if they sue for sole custody solely for the purpose of alienating the child from their mother…ditto for same-sex couples.

Sue for sole custody at your own risk.