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How You Can Lose Child Custody in California

A Legal Team You Can Trust

Although it may seem like the bond between a parent and child is inseparable, the courts in California force parents to forfeit custody of their children every day.

If you’re a parent, you probably fear this could happen to you. Whether or not it can happen depends on whether or not the courts believe that your presence in your child’s life could be detrimental to their health or wellbeing.

A Child’s Best Interest Matters Most

When it comes to kids, family court judges mostly focus on one question for a wide array of issues: “What is in the child’s best interests?” When judges approach this question, they take into account a variety of factors that can affect a child’s welfare.

The benefit of a child’s bond with their parent is one of these factors, but so too is the child’s potential exposure to dangerous situations or the potential for abuse and neglect to occur. If a judge believes that it’s not within your child’s best interest to be or remain in your custody, they may issue an order to that effect.

Specific Risk Factors for Losing Child Custody

As you might guess, a judge doesn’t arbitrarily decide to remove a child from the custody of a parent. A great deal of consideration is granted toward a number of factors, including those that indicate a child may be at risk of abuse or neglect.

Such risk factors for parents can include the following:

  • Allegations of child abuse and/or neglect
  • Actual history of child abuse and/or neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Substance abuse and dependency
  • Mental health issues
  • Failure to co-parent
  • Parental alienation attempts
  • Excessive or erratic work schedule

If you think any of the risk factors above could apply to you, then you may be at risk of losing custody of your children. If you expect a child custody dispute to arise or one already has, you should take care to secure legal representation as soon as possible.

Claery & Hammond, LLP Can Help

Claery & Hammond, LLP is a full-service family law firm that can help parents protect their custody of their children. We understand how important you are to your children and what they mean to you. If you believe there are unfair or untrue accusations that could affect the amount of custody and visitation you can get with your children, we may be able to help.

Learn more during a free consultation with us. Contact Claery & Hammond, LLP online now to get started.


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