Parents fight over having legal rights to raise their children after a divorce. In the past, mothers are automatically given sole custody in favor of being the “mother.” However, times have changed, and it is now highly possible for a mother to lose custody of her child. Fathers are now better preparing their child custody cases to win sole custody of their children.
Prominent Woodland Hills divorce attorney, Leon F. Bennett, acknowledges that there are circumstances where a father can win sole custody just as the vice versa can be true. “Child custody cases hinge on several circumstances that require in-depth legal analysis before entering the courtroom to have your client’s best defense strategy well conceived.”
In this article, we will discuss a number of ways a mother could fail to win the custody case of their children.
What Are The Different Types of Child Custody?
Legal custody means that the parent has authority on the child’s upbringing until he or she comes of age. The custody enables the parent to make long-term decisions for the child’s well-being in all essential aspects.
Physical custody is given to the more suitable parent who can provide for the child’s care on a day-to-day basis.
In situations where there’s a legal arrangement on the child’s divided care, the court will still determine the parent who gets physical custody over the child. Meaning, whoever gets physical custody gets to live with the child.
Nonetheless, both parents can still have equal rights in making decisions imperative to their child’s upbringing.
Sole custody pertains to an arrangement that involves granting legal and physical custody of the child to one parent or guardian. This parent or guardian is now called the custodial parent.
The custodial parent has exclusive legal rights on the child’s upbringing, which means he or she is responsible for the needs of the child in all aspects of life, including the child’s future.
Joint custody provides shared physical and/or legal custody to both parents in deciding over the child’s welfare.
Both parents can be granted equal rights in raising the child. They can arrange the child’s living conditions, which involves dividing the time they get to spend with the child.
Another form of joint custody is granting equal legal rights to both parents, but not physical rights. For example, if the mother has physical custody of the child, the father can have court-ordered visitation rights. However, both the mother and the father are responsible for executing major decisions on the child’s life.
On the contrary, if only the mother has legal custody of her child, the father can have no say on the child’s life when it involves vital aspects. But, if they both have physical custody of the child, they can divide when the child lives with one parent or the other.
Split custody is an arrangement made over custody cases involving more than one child in the family. It means that siblings are divided between the parents, but all children still get to spend time with both parents at separate times.
Even though family courts encourage siblings to stick together after their parents’ divorce, there are cases when a split custody arrangement is required.
The most common exception of warranting split custody is for logistic reasons, especially when it involves the children’s education and personal activities crucial to their development. Aside from this, other underlying factors might still be at play.
For example, in Los Angeles, child custody attorneys are accustomed to long and drawn out battles over child custody that can be even more acerbic as spousal support battles.
Five Ways For A Mother To Lose Custody of Her Child
It’s extremely important to understand the specific California child support laws when entering into a divorce of any kind before you craft your argument for custody.
Here are five possible reasons why a parent, particularly the mother, can’t win the custody case, but keep in mind there are always extenuating circumstances to every case where even bullying or bad blogging by a “psycho ex-wife” or husband can sway a judge’s decision regarding child custody.
Violence on children appears in many forms, such as physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse.
There are specific details that reflect on each clause.
- Physical violence could mean excessive hitting, beating, kicking, punching, etc.
- Sexual violence involves any form of sexual contact between the child and the mother.
- Psychological and emotional abuse is usually caused by harsh verbal treatments and the effects of other types of abuse.
Substance Abuse or Addiction
Substance abuse reflects poorly on the mother’s capacity to raise the child in a healthy environment.
Using any kind of substance and excessive alcohol drinking are strong determinants of possible associations with domestic violence. Thus, it suggests that the mother does not have the ideal disposition of being a nurturing and caring role model.
Neglect of the child’s welfare highly indicates that the mother may not have the capacity to raise the child in the best manner. Failure or inconsistency in providing basic needs and necessities like food, shelter, clothing, education, and healthcare are substantial grounds for losing custody.
Minor mishaps may be overlooked, but if there’s actual neglect on the mother’s part, it may cause a reconsideration on the custodial agreement.
If the mother decides to take her child without permission from the other parent, the court can consider it as child abduction.
Even if the mother does not harm the child or the child consents, it is against any custodial agreement for a parent to run off with the child without the knowledge of the other parent. This action can make the mother look unfavorable and risk losing instead of gaining custody over the child.
Violation of Court Order
Violation of court order involves all the other four factors that may cause the mother to lose custody of her child.
Any nonconforming behavior of the mother, especially when it shows the inability to raise the child with his or her welfare in mind, can urge the court to transfer the custody to a more competent parent or guardian.
The competence of a mother to care for her child should have enough bearing in the eyes of the court. A mother’s ability to become a real parent goes beyond the lengths of providing the child’s material needs. Even after winning legal custody of the child after the divorce, it’s still possible for the mother to lose her custodial rights based on strong grounds of violence, substance abuse, addiction and violations of court orders.
About the Leon F. Bennett Family Law Firm
With over 35 years of experience as a divorce attorney in woodland hills, the Family Law Firm of Leon F. Bennett and his seasoned legal team have helped families reach mutually agreeable decisions regarding matters of divorce, custody, support, and the many rights and agreements associated with family law services. We offer a free first-time consultation to qualified candidates.
We handle cases of Child Custody in Southern California and the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Riverside and Orange County areas. We represent clients in communities such as Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Westlake Village, Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Pacific Palisades, Ventura County, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Valencia, Northridge, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Contact us today to help find a suitable family law solution with compassion and closure.