Even though fathers are gaining custody in 50 percent of divorce cases, there are still reasons fathers lose custody of their children.
In the past, mothers automatically received custody simply because they were the primary caretakers, but not anymore. Approximately 50% of all custody cases today end with the father getting sole custody, but there are still some ways that fathers can lose custody of their children if they aren’t careful.
The top 4 reasons fathers lose custody include child abuse or neglect, substance abuse, exposing the children to overnight guests, or not following the right of first refusal agreement.
Child abuse is the number one reason that a parent loses custody of their children. Abuse can be anything from physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, or even leaving a child in a car unattended. If there is a history of abuse by a parent against any child, then that will be brought to light in the custody hearings. Signs of child abuse include scars, bruises, cuts, marks, broken bones, or even outbursts or behavioral changes from the child. If the father has ever initiated inappropriate sexual behavior toward any child, he could lose custody of his children. Even past anger issues may be introduced in court. Keep in mind that both legal and physical custody can be lost because of child abuse.
Substance abuse of any kind does not go over well in family court – drugs, alcohol, even cigarettes or vaping can be considered substance abuse. Casual use of alcohol or right of first refusal means that one parent must first offer the other parent the chance to look after their kids before arranging for a babysitter or another family member to care for the children. This applies to both planned and last-minute scenarios as well as other instances such as doctor’s appointments, vacations, or daycare arrangements. If a father leaves his kids with a neighbor or a family member without the mother being notified or asked first, he could potentially lose custody of his children. The courts want the kids to be able to spend as much time as possible with both of their parents, thus the right of first refusal clause. It is meant to give both parents as much time with their children as possible.
The bottom line is that raising a child is a team effort even in the face of divorce or separation. The judge will decide based on the best interests of the child and will consider how the two parents are co-parenting, so it’s in your favor to avoid some of the issues mentioned here.
If you suspect that your spouse has engaged in any of the above behaviors, you may need documented proof to bring these issues to light in a courtroom. Consider hiring a private investigator to uncover that information instead of doing it yourself.
Professional surveillance is essential to determine people’s patterns, where they go, who they spend time with, and whether they are involved in illegal or illicit activities (such as gambling, drug abuse, reckless driving, drunk driving, alcoholism, criminal behavior or any other behaviors that might make them unsuitable as parents). It’s worth the investment in order to protect your children.
FAQs about Fathers and Custody:
Do mothers have a better chance of getting custody?
There was a time when mothers were given custody without much ado because of their role as the primary caregiver. Things have changed now with fathers getting 50 percent of sole custody.
Can I lose custody over allegations of child abuse?
You can lose custody over allegations of child abuse provided they are substantiated in court. A court can rule against you if you have been found to have been hitting children, sexually abusing them or ignoring their needs. Abuse can be proven by showing scars, bruises, cuts, marks, broken bones, or even outbursts or behavioral changes from the child.
Can smoking be considered substance abuse in custody cases?
Smoking can be considered substance abuse in custody cases. Moreover, vaping, alcohol and cigarettes can also be considered substance abuse. It becomes difficult to succeed in custody cases if your soon-to-be ex proves that you casually use alcohol or drugs.
How does personal lifestyle play out in custody matters?
Your personal lifestyle is of great concern for courts, which would want to see if it’s suitable for your children after divorce. If witnesses say that you are dating during your divorce and allow your guests to stay overnight, your custody case can suffer serious damage.
What is the right of first refusal?
The right of first refusal means that a parent must ask the other parent to take care of kids before getting a babysitter or a family member to do so in case he or she is busy. If a parent leaves his child with a family member without first letting the other parent know, he or she could close custody of his children.
Is co-parenting a bad option?
Experts agree that co-parenting after divorce ensures the physical and psychological well-being of a child. Judges agree that co-parenting is the best option in case of a divorce and examine in many cases how well the two parents are co-parenting.
Can I get help to prove substance abuse in a custody case?
You should get help to prove substance abuse in a custody case to ensure that your child doesn’t fall prey to the bad influence of your spouse. To substantiate substance abuse, including drug abuse, alcoholism, drunk driving, etc, you need to hire a professional for surveillance of your soon-to-be ex.