“I’m going to make sure you never see these kids again.” If you’re going through a high-conflict divorce, your spouse may have made this threat to you. Unfortunately, this threat is extremely powerful and has inspired people to stay in abusive, and unhappy marriages just so they can be sure they have access to their children. However, if you’re concerned about being able to be involved in your children’s lives, it’s important to know that you have rights. Though your ex might say that you will never see the children again, it very frequently doesn’t happen that way, even for parents who have been shown to be abusive.
What Is in the Child’s Best Interest?
When custody decisions are being made, the court is most concerned with what is in the child’s best interest. Judges want to award custody to the parent who can provide the most stable environment for the child to grow up in. While making this decision, they may consider the following:
- Are you planning on moving out of state?
- Do you have a job, or lifestyle, that requires you to travel, or work unpredictable hours?
- Are you going to negatively impact your child’s relationship with their other parent?
- Do you have a history of abusing the child?
- Do you have a serious mental illness that would directly compromise your ability to effectively parent the child?
- Do you have a history of substance abuse?
The aforementioned are just some of the considerations the judge makes when deciding who will be getting custody and how much custody they will be getting.
Does the Woman Always Get Primary Custody?
Judges normally award custody to whoever does most of the child care and, since the wife is typically the children’s primary caregiver, custody is typically awarded to the woman. However, it would be very difficult for a primary caregiver—male or female—to entirely remove the other parent for the child’s life. Unless the child’s other parent wants absolutely nothing to do with the child, it would be very difficult for the primary caregiver to make sure their ex never sees the children. This is because many judges believe that it is in the best interests of the child, or children, to have a relationship with both parents.
For the most part, it is in the child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents. Therefore, most judges want to give custody to parents who are willing to support the parent-child relationship with their child and their child’s other parent. Ideally, both parents will support the child in having a relationship with their mother and father. And, both parents work together in order to make sure the child has the opportunity to do that. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If the judge believes that you are alienating your child, you may end up with less custody. If you know your ex has been trying to alienate your children, begin documenting the alienation as soon as possible; you will need to establish a pattern before the court will be willing to take action.
Your Ex Cannot Take the Children Forever
It is extremely difficult to remove a parent from a child’s life, especially if that parent wants to be involved in the child’s life. Your ex may threaten to take the children away for good but, it’s highly unlikely that your ex would be able to prevent you from seeing your children. Even parents who have been shown to be abusive toward their children have been given supervised visitation. And, tragically, some abusive parents have retained some form of unsupervised custody. If you’re a good parent, and you have an interest in being involved in your child’s life, your ex will probably have a very hard time making sure you never see your kids again.
Protect Your Rights Today
If your ex is alienating your children, you need to speak with a family law attorney as soon as possible—especially if your ex has run off with the children. You do not want your ex’s attorney to be able to argue that you allowed your ex to take the kids because you’re an uncaring, deadbeat parent. If you’re concerned about getting custody of your children, contact CoilLaw today. Our expert attorneys can help ensure that you get the parent time you deserve.