Reasons Why Parents Lose Custody

A young girl with blonde hair holds her parent's hand while walking down a train platform

Many parents ask what factors the court looks to when removing a child from a parent or removing a parent’s custody rights altogether. However, there are many factors that the court considers in this process and each is evaluated on a case by case basis as there are many reasons why a child can be removed from a home or from a parent’s custody. If this has happened to you or you are concerned about your own rights, contact, and Orlando Child Custody Attorney today to discuss your specific situation.

The most common reason children are removed from their parent’s custody is due to the parent’s fitness. Under Florida Statute 751.05 determination of an unfit parent includes clear and convincing evidence that a “parent has abused, abandoned, or neglected the child.” Further, evidence of domestic violence may also result in evidence suggesting detriment to the child resulting in a removal of parental rights. When any form of abuse is found, the child will be removed from the home and placed in the custody of the other parent, a family member, of custody of the state. Similarly, a parent may lose custody of a child if they are found to have made false claims of child abuse. When a parent knowingly or willfully submits a false claim of abuse, they can be found both criminally and civilly liable and face countless penalties. The court will take this false claim into account when determining proper custody arrangements and the best interest of the child. Many times, such false claims result in the removal of the parent’s custody rights and limit their visitation with the child.

A parent’s, physical and mental health may also be a reason a court finds the child need to be removed from the custody of the parent. If a parent has a history of substance abuse, mental illness, or physical disabilities that materially limit their parental ability and responsibilities, placing the child in danger, the court may remove some rights. The court seeks to protect the child from erratic behaviors that and illegal activity that will hinder their development and place them in physical danger.

The home the parent maintains is also a consideration of the court, in reference to the child’s health and safety. If a parent lives in an unsafe or crime ridden area, the court may require the parent to find new living arrangements suitable for a child. Further, if the home is out of code regulations or unsanitary upon inspection the court can remove custody. The status of a home points to evidence of child neglect. If a home is infested with rodents, mold, or hazards, the court may view this as a willful neglect by the parent to actively protect the child’s health and physical wellbeing.

Finally, if a parent engages in parental alienation tactics the court may order a change in custody. Parental alienation refers to verbal or physical actions that hinder or prevent the child from forming or continuing a positive relationship with the other parent. Many times, the court sees the verbal comments made as a form of manipulation by the parent on the child that not only hurts the mental health of the child, but provides evidence of the negative mental status of the parent. Further, physical actions such as refusing visitation, or removing the child from the state without permission, is a clear act in violation of a court order that may result in criminal penalties and removal of a child from their custody.

Losing custody of a child is a traumatic experience for you and the child, therefore it is important to know your rights and the reasoning behind the court’s decision and actions you can take to prevent such loss. Contact your Orlando Child Custody Attorney today to discuss your unique situation and steps you may need to take in order to protect you and your child.

Speaking to an attorney at our Orlando office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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