Child Custody 101: Reasons For Terminating Custody
Negotiating a divorce is difficult enough by itself, but when you factor in child custody issues, it can be downright stressful. Many people have spent years hearing that the courts prioritize equal access to both parents when determining child custody, but there are some situations where you can fight for sole custody both during the initial custody hearings and even after the fact in a modification hearing. Here's a look at some of the situations you should discuss with your child custody lawyer.
Violence In The Home
It's a given that documented child abuse will often result in a parent losing custody, and even visitation, of their child. However, that's not the only type of violence that can cost a parent custody.
For example, if you are filing for divorce on the grounds of domestic violence and you have documented proof of the violence that you endured at the hands of the other parent, this can set a precedent of violence that may cost the other parent custody and may lead to supervision required for visitation.
The same applies if the other parent has a criminal history of violence in any other manner. If that violence can create an unsafe environment for your children, you need to address it with your child custody lawyer and see if there's enough documentation to raise the issue in court.
A lot of parents find themselves facing custodial interference issues, but many don't understand exactly what that is or what can be done about it. Custodial interference occurs when one parent wilfully violates the custody order, keeping the other parent from seeing the children when they are supposed to.
Custodial interference can occur on either side of a custody agreement. If the parent who has primary custody of the children repeatedly cancels visitations or perpetually drops the children off late, this may be viewed as custodial interference by the court.
Additionally, a parent with visitation is legally obligated to return the child to the custodial parent at the end of that visitation. If the other parent fails to return the child, whether they decide to simply keep them for a couple of extra days or they refuse to return them at all, that can also qualify as custodial interference. You will need to reach out to your child custody lawyer for guidance.
Custody cases can become very contentious, and as a result, some parties become desperate and vindictive. If one party in your custody case is making false accusations of abuse, neglect, custodial interference, kidnapping, or any other offense, the act of making those false allegations can often result in lost custody.
If you are on the receiving end of those false allegations, you'll need to work closely with your child custody lawyer to document the truth behind them. If you can prove that the allegations are false and you can show that the other party willfully filed the allegations despite knowing that they weren't true, the offending party could find themselves facing supervised, limited visitation, or no custody rights at all.
When a divorce is hostile, some parties choose to use any tools available to punish the other party. One of the biggest mistakes that those individuals make is isolating their child or children from the other parent. If the other parent has taken steps to cut off contact between you and your child, including convincing the child that you are a horrible person and one to be avoided, this can be viewed as parental alienation in court. If you have been a victim of parental alienation, your child custody lawyer can help you file a petition with the court to have the custody order revisited. You may be able to terminate the other parent's custody on the grounds that they were not acting in the best interest of the child.
Talk with a child custody lawyer today about your concerns with your child custody case. They can help you determine the best way to move forward.