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What might cause you to lose child custody during divorce?

Although in the past, mothers traditionally won most custody cases, today court decisions are largely gender neutral. According to The Huffington Post, statistics illustrate that about half of fathers who petition for custody win. Although many couples seek joint custody, there are situations in Michigan where you might choose to fight for sole or majority custody. When this is the case, there are a few situations that may work against you.

It is important that you can demonstrate to the court that you are fit to be a parent. If you have any history of child abuse, then there is a very high chance that you will not be given custody. Any substance abuse or also damages your chances of gaining custody. In some situations, you may have to prove to the court that you are fit through an investigation that includes a psychological assessment.

If you cannot demonstrate that you have taken an active interest in your child's life and handled a large part of the responsibility, this may work against you. Many judges award the primary caretaker custody. This is the person who handles most of the day-to-day tasks for taking care of the child. This might include activities such as mealtimes, nighttime rituals, parent-teacher conferences and other responsibilities. If you have never been the parent who carries out these types of tasks, the judge may decide you are not ready to start now.

Divorce proceedings can be difficult and full of emotions, but you should not let them get to you during the custody hearings. Any lashing out against the other parent or bitter diatribes demonstrate a lack of control on your part rather than negative evidence. The judge works on the assumption that it is in your child’s best interests to have a relationship with you and the other parent. If your attitudes and behaviors in court indicate that you are not willing to support this, your case for custody may be harmed. This information about custody issues is for educational purposes only. It is general in nature, and should not be considered legal advice.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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