You may have already gone to court and established custody agreements for your child, yet, you might lose custody in some situations. If you are a mother and surely want to win a custody battle, you must know about the circumstances.
Losing custody of a child usually means loss of joint or physical custody. In some cases, visitation can be limited or supervised, if you need the help of an experienced lawyer you may check here.
So, that being said, how can a mother lose a custody battle? Well, in this article, we have compiled the 7 most common reasons for happening so. Let’s get to know them in detail.
7 Reasons a Mother Can Lose Custody Battle?
Court Order Violation
Will violating a custody court order significantly play a role in losing custody of a child? Well, yes, this is a proper reason to lose a custody battle. Even any violation of court order will ground for removing a mother’s custodial rights.
Some common types of violations may include,
- Keeping the child with the mother for a longer visit than the visitation order
- Showing indifference about informing the other parent about the child’s whereabouts
- Any form of abusing
- Denying the other parent their visitation rights or custody
- Failing to care for the children as instructed and agreed upon
- Taking the child for a long trip without asking for approval
It is advisable to ignore any of the violations, it will help you to move forward safely.
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Addiction or Abuse of Substances
Courts will take this very seriously when substance abuse- in the form of illegal drugs or alcohol- that truly hinders a mother’s capability to take care of her child’s wellbeing. So, the fact is, if a mother is addicted to alcohol or drugs, likely, she is not parenting effectively. The result will be worse if it involves physical, psychological, or sexual abuse or the engagement of the child’s life (such as drunk driving).
Moreover, the judge can require that the visitation remain limited or supervised until the mother will take part in a counseling or rehabilitation program.
Physical Abuse on Children
Child abuse doesn’t have to be extreme for a mother to lose a custody battle. In general, any activity or behavior that threatens a child’s physical wellbeing is considered abuse. People may assume that mothers are less likely to abuse physically.
However, if a mother has been hurting the child (e.g., hitting, kicking, biting, burning, scratching, or any sort of abuse), her ex has every right to file against her. For example, her ex can request a court investigation (with the help of a lawyer) to delve into his claims and award sole custody of the child to him.
If it leads to filing a police report against the mother, it will be a disaster. Moreover, these situations might reflect on fathers who used to know about the abuse but failed to report it on time.
‘Child neglect’ is the form of abuse that generally results from a failure to act. When a mother has custody of her child, she is responsible for making sure that a responsible adult supervises the child, appropriately clothed, reasonably clean, well-fed, being educated, and meeting all the necessities of life.
If the mother is not able to do all of these things, she is likely to lose custody of the child. Moreover, she has to ensure that she is not leaving a young child home alone (thinking that the child can take care of himself/herself), it is an indirect expression of negligence.
Interfering with the Parenting time of Father
Like some of the other reasons to lose custody of a child, interfering with the parenting time of a father is enough depending on the nature and extent of it. When the father has partial custody of the child, the mother cannot always interfere with his visitation rights.
This behavior may include:
- Refusing to take something the children from their father
- Making the father’s visitation difficult
- Continuously arranging new trips or other activities that will keep the children away from their father
- Convincing the children to keep away from their father
In case a father keeps detailed records about each time the mother interferes with his visitation rights, these records can be used against her in court.
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Imagine a scene where a couple has agreed to co-parent their children, turns out, the children are suffering while they are in touch with their mother. In such a case, the father can file to remove her custodial rights.
If the situation is a bit different such as a father does not like the way, his ex allows the child to dress. In contrast, the child is under her care, this kind of disapproval will not be enough to consider removing her custodial rights.
But in case, the lack of rules at the mother’s place encourages the children to cut a sorry figure in the exams, this type of ramification will cause the mother to lose her custodial rights.
Emotional Abuse on Children
Though emotional abuse will be harder to prove in court, yet it can play an active role in grounds for the removal of custodial rights from a mother. Continuously belittling or harassing a child will be considered grounds for termination. In case, physical abuse will be added to this, and the result will be even worse.
Parental alienation (telling a child to manipulate a child to hate its other parent) is also included in emotional abuse on children. If a mother tells her children that the other parent doesn’t love them or is the wrong person, this will emotionally torture them.
So, that’s all we stored for you. Remember, if a mother is abusing her children, alienating their father from them, neglecting them, or anything, including making the situation unfair, the father has each right to pursue custody of the children.
Nevertheless, if things are great and a mother isn’t engaged in any of these actions, she doesn’t need to fear losing custody of her children as their mother.