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Imperfect parents: Don't let these 3 mistakes jeopardize custody

There is no such thing as a perfect parent. We all have flaws and make mistakes when it comes to our children. That being said, while no parent is expected to be ideal, some factors can jeopardize a parent's custody rights and their relationship with their child.

If you are a parent who is getting divorced or in a battle over child custody, you should understand a few of the more concerning factors that could negatively affect a custody award. With some awareness, you can take steps to address and remedy them.

  1. History of domestic violence: If you have committed domestic violence in the past, then the courts may not award you custody. However, if you can prove that you are in counseling, that could work in your favor. If you were falsely accused of abuse, then defending yourself and proving you did not do anything wrong can restore your image in the eyes of the court.
  2. Addiction to drugs or alcohol: California family courts take seriously a parent's current or previous addiction to drugs or alcohol. If you struggle with addiction, or if your ex accuses you of substance abuse, then completing a rehabilitative program can be a wise decision. Not only does receiving treatment improve your standing as a parent, it also improves your own well-being.
  3. Lack of connection with your child: Courts will consider the amount of contact you have with your child when determining custody. If you have not shown an interest in fostering a meaningful relationship with your child, then that can reflect poorly on you as a parent. To address this, make a concerted effort to spend time or bond with your child. This won't happen overnight, but it won't happen at all unless you make the effort.

These are just a few factors that have the potential to jeopardize a parent's custody rights because they could put a child in danger or leave him or her exposed to neglect. Under these circumstances, placement with a parent would not be in the child's best interest.

If you struggle with any of these issues, you are not without options. You can work with an attorney to assess your options, address these shortcomings and make positive changes that protect your parental rights. 

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