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Why Do Californians Lose Custody Of Their Children
Your greatest fear as a parent is that your child will leave you. In reality, children are taken from their parents for a variety of reasons, some of which are permanent.
False allegations of child abuse and abuse
If you are responsible for child abuse, you may lose custody of your child. Courts take child abuse very seriously and will not hesitate to terminate someone’s parental rights or custody if they think it is in the best interest of the child. If there is a custody agreement, it can be modified to protect the child by limiting or eliminating contact with abusive parents.
Moreover, courts are not troubled by false allegations of abuse. If a parent or other person makes a false allegation that a child has been abused, it is considered an attempt to disrupt the custody process and gain a favorable decision through deception. If the court finds this to be the case, it may deny custody or visitation rights to a parent who has made false allegations. In addition, if a parent commits perjury, he or she will face more serious legal consequences.
A child can be neglected without abuse, but the consequences are the same. Neglected children are more likely to have physical and emotional problems.
Parents may lose custody of their children for the following reasons
Parents who commit domestic violence risk losing custody of their children even if they do not directly harm them. If a parent commits domestic violence against a spouse, partner, relative, or even a pet, a court may decide that it is in the child’s best interest to take custody away.
Substance abuse and addiction
Parents may be deprived of custody of their children if they are shown to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Abuse of any substance, legal or illegal, can prevent children from adequately meeting their basic needs. Children of addicted parents are more likely to experience neglect, physical abuse, and exposure to drugs and alcohol.
Parents who wish to contest a drug abuse charge may be required to take a drug test. Failing a drug test does not automatically lead to a loss of parental rights, but it can play a big role in a judge’s decision. If a parent loses custody, a judge can restore custody if the parent completes drug treatment and stays sober for a certain period of time.
Mental health issues
Many people suffer from different types and degrees of mental illness. The mere fact that a child has a mental illness is not enough to separate him or her from his or her parents. It must be shown that the parent’s mental illness or other mental health problem is serious enough to put the child at risk directly or through neglect.
If mental health issues are raised, the court may order the parents to undergo psychological evaluation, testing and counseling before making a decision on the custody dispute.
Parental alienation and lack of shared parenting
In California, children are considered to have frequent and ongoing contact with both parents unless there are questions or concerns that such contact should be limited. When joint custody or visitation is in effect, parental estrangement may include one parent attempting to harm the child’s relationship with the other.
Such injuries can result from physical separation of the child from the other parent in violation of a custody or visitation agreement. Harm can also be caused by emotions manipulating the child so that he or she does not like or trust the other parent. Parents who engage in such parental alienation risk losing custody of their children.
If the focus of parental alienation is to turn the child against the other parent, then the lack of shared parenting is also a problem. Shared parenting requires communication and cooperation from both parents so that the child can receive adequate care. If one parent refuses to provide the other with information about the child’s education, health or other important matters, the court may limit or revoke the parental rights of the parent who refuses.
Overworked parents risk losing custody in a dispute. The court held that parents should be present and actively involved in their children’s lives, so parents who worked too many hours due to demanding jobs, multiple jobs or military service could be deprived of parental rights.
Instead, custody was granted to those parents who were able to devote the most time to their children’s well-being, regardless of their income. In this case, working parents are more likely to be asked to pay child support.
Am I at risk of losing custody of my children?
If you are a parent and believe you are at risk of losing custody of your child, please contact Spodek Law Group. Our lawyers are committed to advocating and providing the personalized legal support our clients need during these difficult times.
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