What are common reasons a mother may lose custody of a child?

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Question:

What are common reasons a mother may lose custody of a child?

Answer:

In custody situations, more and more courts now favor equal consideration of both mother and father as the custodial parent. This was not always the case. In decades past, it was a rebuttable presumption that mothers were the preferable custodial parent as they tended to be the primary caregivers. Even now, most times the physical custody is given to the mother even where legal custody is given equally to both parents. Legal custody simply means that both parents have input into the major issues surrounding their child(ren) including issues of school, medical care and religious upbringing.

Despite the lingering preference given to mothers, it is not uncommon for mothers to lose custody of their children. All states adhere to a standard of the best interest of the child. If a court determines that a mother's custody impedes with this standard, custody may be taken away.

How a Mother Can Lose Custody

The following are just some of the reasons a mother may lose custody:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Obstructing visitation between the non-custodial father and the child(ren) of the marriage
  • Engaging in parental alienation behavior by disparaging their father in front of the child(ren)
  • Leaving the marital home and abandoning the child(ren)
  • Moral inturpitude and engaging in lewd behavior in front of the kids
  • Engaged in an abusive relationship that threatens the child(ren)

Once a mother loses custody, she may find it difficult to even gain visitation rights.

In cases of custody lost due to alcohol or drug abuse, the mother has to prove to the court that she has completed a treatment program before she can request a return of custody rights. At minimum, she may be granted supervised visitation until the judge determines that she is no longer a detriment to her child(ren).

If you believe you will lose custody of your child, consult an attorney as soon as possible. Talk about custody and the various reasons a mother is given no visitation rights during a divorce.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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This site does not provide legal advice and users of this site should not interpret any of the information presented here as legal advice. The information provided merely conveys general information related to commonly asked legal questions. We are not a law firm and the employees responding to questions are not acting as your legal attorney. You should ultimately consult with a lawyer for your case.

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