When to Consider Sole Legal Custody of Your Child

Deciding whether or not to move forward with filing for sole legal custody of your child can be both an easy and difficult decision. Prior to filing for sole custody, you will want to take all things into consideration and understand the full meaning of sole legal custody. Below, the experienced and professional family lawyers of Rodier Family Law discuss when it is time to consider sole legal custody for your child.

What is Sole Legal Custody? 

In Maryland, sole legal custody is defined as when one parent is the sole decision maker for the child. These decisions generally cover education, medical care, religion and any other important lifestyle or legal decisions.

When Should You Seek Sole Legal Custody?

The health and wellbeing of your child is a top priority. Below we discuss scenarios where sole legal custody should be considered. 


If your child’s other parent is frequently absent from their life, the court may be likely to grant you sole legal custody. Communication between parent and child is essential for a successful relationship. 


Providing necessities to your child is essential to their health and wellbeing. Neglect can be defined as abandonment and/or failure to provide the child with basic needs such as medical and dental care, food, clothing, and housing. If there are signs your child is being neglected by their other parent, it may be grounds for you to file for sole legal custody.

Substance Abuse

A parent who abuses drugs or alcohol puts their child at risk. When a parent is frequently incapacitated due to abusing substances, they may be seen as unfit to take care of their child by the courts, as their actions put their child’s health and wellbeing at risk. 

Mental Illness

If one parent has a mental illness and that prevents them from providing proper care and making rational decisions for the child, the court may grant sole legal custody to the other parent. 


If one parent lives in a different state, country, or time zone, it may be difficult to keep steady communication and be able to assist in making decisions for their child. In this case, the parent that the child primarily resides with may be granted sole legal custody.

Prior to filing for sole legal custody, ensure this decision is based on what is best for your child. If one parent is unable to make informed decisions for the child, sole legal custody may be a viable and even necessary option.

Consult the Bel Air Child Custody Lawyers at Rodier Family Law To Learn More

At Rodier Family Law, we are in your court and are here to support both you and your child in what is best for your situation. Contact the family law experts at Rodier Family Law for additional information about sole legal child custody arrangements.