The main reason for custody disputes during divorce cases is simply that both parents are not on the same page, and they want different outcomes to the case. Maybe both want sole custody, for instance, or maybe they’re fine with joint custody, but they can’t agree on how to split the time.

But it can be helpful to look a bit deeper. Why is it that couples don’t have the same goals? Why do they end up disagreeing with one another? A few potential reasons include:

  • The child is closer to one parent than the other
  • The child is old enough to make their custody wishes known, but the parents do not agree with the child’s wishes
  • One parent is angry about the divorce and wants to keep the child away from the other parent out of spite
  • One parent has negative habits — such as excessive drinking — that the other parent does not want the child exposed to
  • One parent already has a new romantic partner, and the other parent does not want the child spending time around that person
  • One parent fears for the safety of the child while they’re at the other person’s house, whether or not those fears are justified

Many times, it’s as simple as wanting more time with the child. One of the biggest changes after a divorce, if custody is shared, is that each parent has to adjust to seeing the child less often. This can be jarring and emotionally difficult, and it often leads to disputes. Those involved need to know what legal options they have.