There is often an incorrect assumption that courts favor mothers and that it would be very difficult for them to lose custody. However, legally, this is not so. Mothers and fathers are to be treated without preference under the law with regard to custody issues. This means that, in the case of divorce and custody issues, a mother could lose her custody and potentially all parental rights in the same way that a father could.
In California, the goal of the courts is to aim for even custody between parents whenever possible. However, they are also required to put the child’s welfare first. This means that there are ways that a parent can lose custody. Also, because the court is legally prohibited from showing favoritism to a parent on the basis of sex/gender, the ways in which a mother may lose custody are the same as the ways that a father could lose custody. They include:
A: In California, the courts are supposed to make whatever decisions they believe are in the child’s interests with regard to custody and child support. The courts are also prohibited from making those decisions on the presumption that a particular sex/gender is better for the child. Instead, they are to take in the whole dynamic of the situation and decide based on that assessment. This does not, though, necessarily mean that the results of the court’s decisions may not skew in favor of the mother. For instance, if fathers generally have a more difficult time creating enough time for children around work commitments, then there may be a lot more cases where mothers are given more physical custody rights.
A: Abandonment is one of the ways that a parent can lose their parental rights in California. The criteria are the same for mothers and fathers. Generally, it requires the proving of three elements:
If the parent is determined to have abandoned the child, all parental rights will be terminated, and they can no longer bring custody, child support, or visitation claims to court.
A: In California, custody is always awarded based on what the court believes to be in the interests of the child. There are four kinds of custody that determine the general custody arrangements:
The physical or legal custody is ruled to be either sole or joint. They need not be the same, either. For instance, even when the court orders sole physical custody for one parent, they will still make every effort to provide joint legal custody.
A: A mother must adhere to the custody ruling that comes down from the court. This means that, if a father is granted shared custody or visitation rights, the way that those things are described in the ruling must be the process that the mother follows. Failure to follow those procedures can be grounds for modifying the custody agreement and can even lead to the mother losing custody.
Custody battles can be one of the ugliest parts of a divorce. The job of the court is to do what it believes is right for the child involved. It’s important that you have a strong case for whatever you’re seeking as also being ideal for the child’s welfare. A strong legal team from Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, can be most helpful in putting forward this kind of case. If you need someone to help you in your custody fight, contact us today.
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