When a divorcing couple appears before the court to decide on child custody, the judge will review the circumstances of the case and award one of the following types of custody: joint, sole legal or sole physical custody. Additionally, visitation time could be distributed equally or primarily granted to one parent.
However, it is important to understand that child custody is never set in stone. Custody decree can be modified for any reason whatsoever as long as such modification serves in the “best interest” of the child in question. And this modification can also be in the form of loss of custody.
Here are three common reasons why a parent may be stripped of their custody rights.
Child abuse in any form is the number one reason why a parent may lose custody of their little one. Physical abuse can result in bruises, wounds, head injuries and burns. Some parents tend to disguise child abuse as corporal punishment. However, it is important to understand that there is a distinct line between abuse and discipline.
Abuse can also extend to mental and emotional abuse as well as sexual abuse.
Violation of existing custody order
Violation of the custody order can range from minor infractions to significant violations. Whether or not this is the cause of loss of custody depends on the kind and extent of the violation. For instance, if the non-custodial parent is 10 minutes late in returning the child once or twice a week, this can be considered as a minor issue. It is unlikely the court will grant the request to keep the child from the parent as a result of this. However, if one parent makes crucial decisions, like circumcision or choice of religion, on behalf of the child without consulting the other parent, this could be a valid reason to petition the court for custody revocation.
Child custody is usually one of the most contentious issues during divorce and separation. If you have gone through a divorce, it is important that you understand and avoid some of the pitfalls that can cost you your child’s custody or visitation rights.