Did you know you could lose custody of your kids during or after a San Diego divorce? If you have children and are contemplating or in the process of a divorce you may believe child custody and parenting time are going to be equally divided between you and your former spouse. If your divorce has been completed and custody and parenting time orders are in place you may think it’s permanent.
After all, California law has established it is in the best interests of a child to spend equal quality time with each parent during and after a divorce, whenever possible.
The fact is it is very possible to have your parenting time reduced or to lose custody of your kids at any point along the way. What are some of the reasons a Court may reduce or eliminate child custody?
One of the most common reasons is domestic violence. Physical harm is almost always going to impact custody and parenting time orders. However, the assault doesn’t have to be physical in order to gain the attention of the Court. A verbally abusive parent can actually harm their child in measurably emotional ways. An observant co-parent or counselor may pick up on signals of the abuse and seek an external evaluation to present to the Court.
Parental alienation is another form of emotional abuse. If a person consistently speaks badly of the other co-parent and tries to harm or interfere in the child’s relationship with the other parent the Court may find it is due to “parental alienation.” Interfering with existing child custody orders or the time your child spends with a co-parent or damaging their relationship could actually impact your fitness as a parent in the eyes of the Court.
Alcohol and drug abuse or a criminal conviction may result in modifications to parenting time or cause you to lose custody of your kids.
In other cases, parents in North County and throughout San Diego have lost custody for other forms of neglect such as leaving a child unsupervised, maintaining an unsafe and unhealthy home or even failing to feed their child a balanced, nutritional diet.
If a child has sufficient maturity, the Court may change or revoke your parenting time based upon the request of the child.
The essence of child custody and parenting time in California law is “the best interests of the child.” San Diego Family Court Judges are exceptionally concerned about child custody and parenting time issues. The Family Court is always going to have an interest in a child who is not in the best of circumstances.
Just because a person has been awarded some form of child custody or parenting time doesn’t mean it will continue forever. It is possible to lose custody of your kids during or after a San Diego divorce.