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In the not-so-distant past, it was almost assumed that, in the event of a divorce, the mother would end up with the children. However, times have changed and views on parenting are different, both in common opinion and in the court of law.
 
Namely, it is relatively rare for one parent to end up with sole custody of children after a divorce. Modern courts prefer co-parenting. According to Findlaw, sole custody of children is generally only awarded when the courts deem one parent unfit to take care of children. 
 
What is sole custody? 
 
In the case of child custody, there are two different types. They are “legal custody” and “physical custody.” Sole legal custody is when one parent has all rights and responsibilities associated with decision making on the part of a child. These responsibilities and rights include choosing what, if any, religion the child is, making medical decisions, and choosing what school the child attends. 
 
On the other hand, physical custody refers to where the child lives. If one parent has sole physical custody, the child resides at that parent’s residence. The non-custodial parent may have visitation with the child occasionally. 
 
Why is sole custody hard to get? 
 
Children do best when both parents are actively involved in their upbringing, even if those parents divorce. Co-parenting, or joint custody, is the most common default for child custody for this reason. Of course, if one parent is struggling with addiction or has a history of violence he or she will not hold custody of children. 
 
However, it is very common for parents to simply not get along after a divorce. Joint custody requires parents to put their differences aside for the betterment of the children.