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When Might I Lose Custody of My Children in California?

Losing custody of your own children is every parent’s worst nightmare. The prospect of losing your loved ones is bad enough, but having them forcibly taken away by government agencies – or your ex – is almost unthinkable. Unfortunately, this is a real possibility for some families in California. But could it really happen to you? The truth is that losing custody might be easier than you think, and there are many ways in which this might happen.

The Most Obvious Reasons

There are a few very obvious factors that can cause a parent to lose custody:

  • Neglect: If you are not providing your children with the basic necessities, you may lose your child due to accusations of neglect. Examples include not providing your child with adequate clothing, such as new shoes or raincoats. Your child might not be eating enough, and they may not have access to reliable shelter.
  • Substance Abuse: If you are struggling with substance abuse and your addiction is affecting your ability to take care of your child, there’s a strong chance you may lose custody. This might involve legal or illegal substances.
  • Domestic Abuse: If there is reason to believe you are abusing your child, your spouse, or any other member of the household, you could lose custody.

If parents are married, both may lose custody for these reasons. If parents are divorced, the guilty party may lose custody while the other becomes the primary guardian going forward.

The Less Obvious Reasons

There are also several less obvious factors that may lead to the loss of custody:

  • Kidnapping your child
  • Parental alienation
  • Not cooperating with the co-parent
  • Violating court orders

Could You Lose Custody for Not Affirming Your Child’s Transgender Identity?

There is some confusion on whether parents may lose custody for not affirming their transgender children’s identities. Bill 107 generated quite the controversy, although it was misinterpreted by many observers. The general consensus seems to be that the state cannot take custody of a child if parents disagree with their children’s decision to seek “gender-affirming care.”

That being said, it is not exactly clear what might happen in the future – and there are certainly examples of parents losing custody for not agreeing with their children’s decisions to undergo various trans treatments – including surgery. In addition, Bill AB 957 was recently introduced in California, and this legislation would force courts to favor parents that affirm their children’s gender identities in custody battles.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Family Law Attorney in California?

If you are facing the prospect of losing custody of your children, you need to get in touch with a qualified, experienced family law attorney at your earliest convenience. Choose RM Law Group, LLP, to give yourself the best possible chance of a positive outcome. With our help, you can fight for your parental rights and strive to maintain custody over your children. While parents face many threats to custody today, there’s no sense in giving up without a legal battle. Book your consultation today to get started.