There are more women losing custody of their children as they fight to gain equality in the workplace. Some may even earn a six-figure income while their spouse stays at home with the kids. During a divorce proceeding, this can be used as leverage for the husband to obtain custody while she may be left with only visitation rights.
How a Mother Can Lose Custody
Most states base their custody decision on who will provide the best care for the children and which parent can offer the more stable home environment. There are many reasons how and why women can lose custody during the divorce process. Some of these might be:
- The wife was the primary breadwinner and spent more time working at her career while having little or no contact with their children.
- The abuse of drugs or alcohol resulted in jail time or court-ordered rehabilitation.
- Illegally blocked their husband from being able to see his kids during the divorce process.
- Engaging in parental alienation behavior by disparaging their father in front of the children.
- Leaving the marital home and abandoning the children.
- Allegations of infidelity and engaging in lewd behavior in front of the kids.
- Allowed the family to stay in an abusive relationship.
Once a woman has lost the right to custody during the divorce process, it can be extremely difficult to obtain legal visitation rights.
Temporary vs. Permanent Custody and Visitation
A mother may agree to her husband having temporary custody while they go through divorce. They may be unaware that by doing this, they might be giving up their rights to permanent custody. Even though they believe that this is a temporary arrangement, the courts may look at it altogether differently.
The court can order what they deem as “reasonable visitation” for the non-custodial parent. In many cases, the parents are supposed to work out what reasonable means in their case. In some divorces, the custodial parent may try to punish the other spouse by withholding visitation or try to make it difficult for the other parent visit with the kids. This is never okay in the eyes of the law and can work against you and jeopardize your right to have custody.
The Rights of the Mother
It is a mother’s right to interact with her children when she has been given legal visitation. During this time, she has the right to remain free from control of the father, especially if there has been evidence of domestic violence or abuse. She has the right to notify the police if she is being denied visitation with her children. Furthermore, she can file a petition with the family court and seek a modification of the custody and visitation arrangements.
If you lost custody of your children due to alcohol or drug abuse, it may be necessary for you to prove to the court that you have completed a treatment program. You may be granted supervised visitation until the judge feels that you are no longer a danger to your kids.
Getting Help From an Attorney
Divorce can be an emotionally draining time for all parties involved. A mother who has lost custody of her children may feel hopeless and devastated. The family courts actually want both biological parents to be involved in raising their kids and people are often given a second chance to re-establish their relationship with their children. An experienced family law attorney can help you by offering legal advice regarding how to put your best foot forward when facing adversity during the divorce process.