Though sole custody145 may seem unjust to the parent who is only granted visitation, 146 it
better serves the long-term best interests of the children than any other alternative arrangement
Sole custody provides the children with one stable and secure environment that the child
can truly associate with being “home.” Social workers and professionals agree that this type of
consistency and security is what a child needs to ensure their complete and undisturbed
development. 148 This stability guarantees a more trusted environment, home, surroundings, and
relationships. 149 This lifestyle would create the impression of permanency, which is a
fundamental requirement for children in order to reach their utmost potential. 150
Sole custody more impressively limits the contact and interaction between the parents,
and thus safeguards the child from the consistent, bitter disputes of his or her parents. 151 Because
the parents’ lives are far less intertwined than in joint custody arrangements, this parenting
arrangement drastically reduces the children’s exposure to hostility, unhealthy relationships, and
damaging interactions between his or her parents. 152 Consequently, the child can grow up
without the constant reminder of the parental aggression and incessant turmoil that surrounds his
or her life. This reduction of contact positively impacts the quality of life for the child, who
would otherwise be placed in the middle of strife and cyclical parental conflict on a regular basis.
145 Maritza Karmely & Kelly A. Leighton, The Brass Ring of Custody: Toward a Better Solution for Families in
Massachusetts, 93 MASS. LAW. REV. 373, 374 (2011) (sole custody occurs when one parent has primary and
significant decision-making power and/or physical responsibility of the children.).
146 Visitation is the time a parent, who does not have custody, will spend with the children.
147 See generally Scott & Derdeyn, supra note 110, at 455.
148 Mirka Girard, Nancy Houle & Me. Viviane Topalian, The Importance of Stability for Children, YOUTH
PROTECTION ACT INFO (October 2008),
(last visited: February 7, 2017).