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Grounds For a Single Mother to Lose Custody

March 17, 2009

When I talk to lawyers, or when I read their blogs; I always, always get a headache from trying to understand what they’re trying to say. All the mumbo jumbo about family law drives me crazy, and these “lawyer terms” are just so hard to understand. Whoever wrote the family code must not have wanted us simple people to understand what it means, or it was written so that we have to go pay lawyers to interpret them for us.

I’ve been often asked by single dads if they can have full custody of their children; and my answer has always been yes. To put it simply, and for humankind to understand, if a mother is proven to be incompetent she may lose custody of her illegitimate children, even if they are 7 years old and below. What does incompetent mean? If she’s unemployed, addicted to drugs (even if it’s just cough syrup), a drunk or has been convicted of a crime; this could mean that she’s incapable of caring for her children. If a mother beats her children, or emotionally abuses them, she can also lose custody. If the kids are always getting sick due to lack of care, dressed in what looks like street rags and are always dirty, or if their mom has them living in an environment that’s not appropriate for their age; these could also be grounds for a father to gain custody of their kids. But of course, you have to understand that these might be happening because the father is not supporting the kids, and the mother, though employed, just doesn’t earn enough to feed herself and her kids.

Some mothers leave their children with the grandparents or house help, and this is fine as long as the kids are getting proper care. This usually happens when a mother has to work, either locally or abroad. A father may seek custody if he can prove that his children will have a better life with him.

Now, just because the mother is in a relationship with another man, this doesn’t mean that the father can have custody of their children. Unless, of course, the man living with the mother is a drug user/pusher, drunk, abusive, etc.; the father may file for full custody of the children. There’s no law in this world that states that a mother cannot marry or live with another guy; especially if her husband/boyfriend/live-in partner is a good man.

If the child reaches the age of 7, he has the choice to stay with his mother or father; UNLESS he’s incapable of making that decision; such as he is suffering from a mental illness. It’s always what’s best for the child that courts consider.

This information is incomplete and only consists of answers that have been frequently asked. So if you have other questions, please let me know and I’ll try my best to have them answered.

Also, no opinions have been stated in this article except in paragraph 1, just so people don’t start telling me that I’m biased.

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