As a parent, losing custody of your child is likely your worst nightmare. Going through a turbulent time emotionally or financially could mean that you are having a difficult time providing for your child’s needs, and, as a result, the other parent or another family member may be trying to gain sole custody. Alternatively, if you are currently going through a divorce, you may be concerned that the other parent may try to gain sole custody of your child.
If you are concerned about the possibility of losing custody of your children, you should start by acknowledging that the child custody courts usually think a child should have a relationship with both of their parents. Child custody courts always take actions that are aligned with what they believe to be in the best interests of the child. Therefore, if you can show that your presence in your child’s life is benefiting them, it is unlikely that you will lose custody.
That being said, there are some situations in which a parent could completely lose custody of their child. The following are some of the most common reasons.
Physical or sexual abuse
All children have the right to be in safe and loving homes in which they are free from physical or sexual abuse. If the courts believe that the child in question is at risk of being subjected to physical or sexual abuse when in your care, you will likely lose custody of your child.
Emotional or physical neglect
Children have physical needs, such as the need for good nutrition, shelter and warmth. They also have emotional needs that are just as important. They need to be loved, cared for and reassured. Ignoring any of a child’s most basic needs is a form of neglect, and it is one of the main reasons why a parent loses custody of their child. Substance abuse or mental illness is commonly present in parents who neglect their children.
If you are concerned about losing custody of your child, you must act now to understand the law and take the appropriate legal action. By building an argument as to how you benefit your child’s life, likely, you will not lose custody.