Now that you’re dealing with a divorce, one of the biggest questions you have is if you are going to lose custody of your children. The good news is that it is unlikely that most people will lose total custody or time with their children, because it is well understood that most children do better when both parents are in their lives.
However, there is a risk that you could lose custody in some cases. Here are three times when losing custody is likely.
You’re dealing with substance abuse
Sometimes, substance abuse issues could lead to losing custody. Not everyone who struggles with drug or alcohol abuse will lose custody, though. In fact, if you are seeking treatment or working through a treatment program, the court may agree that supervised visits or day visits are appropriate until you complete the program.
It’s more likely to lose custody if you drive while impaired with your children in your car, for example, or if your kids are hurt because you were using drugs and unable to care for them.
Neglect may have happened in the home
If you are accused of neglect and the court feels there is enough evidence, you could end up losing custody of your children. If you’re facing allegations of neglect, know that you can fight back to protect your right to custody.
You can’t provide for your child
A third reason you could end up losing custody is if it’s clear you can’t provide for your child. For instance, if you have no home and cannot provide safety or structure in your child’s life, you may have a harder time getting custody.
In most cases, even when people have their own struggles, the court is willing to allow day visits or supervised visitation. The other parent, however, may maintain physical and legal custody of the children the majority of the time.
If you’re concerned about this kind of situation, it’s valuable to talk to your attorney about your options and how you can work toward a positive outcome that gives you the time you need with your kids.