Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody?


If you are wondering what the chances of a father gaining full custody of his children are, keep reading to learn more about a father’s custody rights!

“It seems so hopeless as a single father to get full custody of my kids.” “Do I have the same parental rights as their mother?” “Am I going into this at a disadvantage, or do I have to go to court?” These are real questions single dads across the U.S. are asking. Before you give up on getting full custody of your kids, here are the answers single dads need to know.

What Is The Difference Between Full Child Custody and Joint Child Custody

Full custody is commonly referred to as sole custody. Parents who want full custody rights need to know the differences between what full custody is and what joint custody is. In the end, most courts grant both  parents joint and equal custody of a child.

  • In a joint custody situation, parents share their physical and/or legal custody of their child.
  • However, in a full custody situation, only one parent has the sole responsibility for their children.

If The Father Is Single Can He Still Get Full Custody?

The courts consider it preferable for both parents to share custody of their children, there can be circumstances where the courts would consider granting full custody to only one parent. Additionally, the courts are not allowed to show any prejudice against fathers, so if they can show that they’re better suited as a parent, they do have the chance of getting full custody. But they should also be prepared for a difficult child custody battle if the child’s mother also plans to file for full custody.

Full Custody Right Factors Considered By the Courts

Those parents who want full custody rights should know what to expect prior to their court proceedings. A court will determine the following factors in deciding which parent should gain full custody rights:

Paternity: A father who is interested in gaining full custody of their child should have proven their paternity of the child. A father can establish paternity by signing the child’s birth certificate or by acknowledging paternity during paternity proceedings in court, or after court ordered genetic testing of both parrents’ DNA.

The father’s relationship with the child: A judge will examine the parent’s relationship with the child, prior to granting them full custody rights. The father should be prepared to answer questions regarding his relationship with the child during their child custody proceedings. A judge will also inquire about past regular visitation.

The child’s relationship with his/her mother: A court will be hesitant to interrupt a child custody arrangement that is working, particularly if the child’s mother is the principal caretaker of the child. For instance, a court would consider changing the custody arrangement if they feel the child is in danger, or if the child’s mother is suffering from a mental illness or if the child’s mother is taking drugs or abusing alcohol. A father who desires full custody of their child should be prepared to prove that a substantial  change in circumstances justifies a complete change in custody.

A father who wants full custody rights of their child should be aware that the courts will often offer ample visitation rights to the child’s mother, as the relationship with both parents is deemed to be in the child’s best interests. For more information about gaining full custody rights, fathers should refer to the child custody laws of Arizona and find additional sources about how they can gain custody of their child.


Washington, Debrina. “Can a Father Get Full Custody of a Child?” Verywell Family, Verywellfamily, 27 Sept. 2018, www.verywellfamily.com/how-can-fathers-get-full-custody-2997129.

Read More About:

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Understanding Parenting Time Under Arizona Law

Child Custody Laws In Arizona

Speak With One Of Our Divorce Attorneys In Scottsdale

Our Father’s Rightschild custody, and guardianship attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale address your case with concern and personal attention, and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

We are experienced family law attorneys and will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. You can trust us to represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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