As a parent of a child, you know that one of the worst things you might experience is having that child removed from your custody. Even in circumstances where you know that you can improve as a parent, it is very likely that you want to keep your child in your custody and make it out of your current difficult season.
This is an understandable desire, but regulatory agencies that look after the well-being of children may remove a child from a parent's custody for number of reasons, if he or she violates certain guidelines severely or regularly enough to warrant it.
If you suspect that you may risk losing custody of your child, there are probably a number of things that you can do to course-correct and retain custody, provided that you make keeping custody of your child a priority and use the various legal tools that you have available. In some cases, a parent may lose a child simply because he or she fails to look at the available legal options and does nothing to protect parental rights.
Abuse or neglect
If you currently have custody of your child, then it is very important that you make it a priority to keep the child safe and secure, especially while they are under your care. If you or someone in your home endangers the safety or well-being of the child through direct action or neglect, you may lose custody of the child.
This may include:
- Physical abuse toward the child
- Physical abuse toward you
- Encouraging or allowing drug use by the child or using drugs in the child's presence
- Other forms of abuse, such as verbal, emotional or sexual abuse
Should you engage in any of this behavior, or if someone in your home engages in this behavior, you must put an end to it immediately if you want to maintain custody of your child.
Violating court orders
One of the other key ways in which a parent may lose custody of a child is through violating court orders. If you have a court order that requires you to meet certain criteria, perform duties or make payments on an established timeline, then you may lose custody.
It is important to note that small violations usually do not result in loss of custody. Rather, a parent must usually violate a court order in a major way or violate orders in minor ways repeatedly in order to lose custody.
If you face the prospect of losing your child, do not bury your head in the sand and hope that it blows over. In most cases, the court prefers for you to retain custody if you make the effort to abide by its rules and meet its expectations. Be sure to carefully review all your legal options to keep your parental privileges secure and provide your child with the best life you can.