When a couple that shares a child decides to divorce, one of the most important issues they must address is the child’s post-divorce living arrangements. Most often, the court will encourage both parties to enter a joint-custody arrangement that grants both parents equal custody and/or parenting time. Sometimes, however, the court may grant primary custody to one parent and visitation rights to the other.
However, a custody order is never cast in stone. The court may revise and modify an existing custody order for a variety of reasons. And sometimes, this may involve stripping a parent of their custody and parental rights. But when can this happen?
Here are two reasons why the court may strip a parent of their custody and/or visitation rights.
This is, without a doubt, the number one reason why a parent may lose custody of their child. This can include physical abuse such as inflicting wounds, bruises and scars on the child. Sometimes, physical abuse can be indicative of a parent who is struggling with mental or psychological issues.
Abuse can also be emotional. This may come in the form of insults or name-calling, threatening or allowing the child to witness emotional abuse. It can also involve isolating, corrupting, denigrating or neglecting the child.
Repeat violation of the custody order
Custody orders are arrived at in the best interests of the child. Thus, if the court approves or issues a custody order, both parties are bound by its provisions. A persistent violation of this order has consequences, and one of these is the change and/or loss of custody and parental rights. For instance, a parent who routinely kidnaps the child might lose their custody or visitation rights.
Protecting your child’s best interests
Child custody can be heavily contested following the breakdown of the marriage. Find out how you can safeguard your parenting rights and the child’s best interests during and after the divorce.