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Why mothers lose custody of their children

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2020 | Child Custody, Visitation |

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Many people have a misconception that a mother is most likely to win the custody battle.

If we look at the stats, we will find a consistently increasing percentage of fathers winning the custody of their children. Sometimes, a mother can even lose an already won case, and mostly for the reasons that could have been avoided.

In this article, we will try to outline the main reasons for losing the custody of your child to your ex. The article also includes the red signs which might help your ex to go to court against your custody and advice on how best to tackle such a scenario. It doesn’t matter if you were married or unmarried when you had children together, if you can learn to avoid these common mistakes, you will save yourself the trouble, mental stress, and huge expense which usually accompanies court cases. If you are finding yourself in this situation and are in need of a family law attorney, consider calling us at 770-615-7248

What are the reasons mothers lose custody?

After reading through this article, you might think that these are routine precautions, but believe it or not many mothers have lost custody cases due to these slips. Physical abuse against a child or ex

One of the most incrimination thing that can go against the mother is physical violence. Whatever happens, do not lose your cool. Physical abuse may be easy to prove in court. Social workers and child protection agencies are always on the lookout for any signs of physical abuse which includes hitting, kicking, scratching, biting, and beating. It is difficult to defend in the court and will reflect badly on the mother’s capabilities as a parent. The father may also be held equally responsible if he was aware of the fact and did not report it to the authorities.

Physical abuse is one of the main causes mothers to lose custodian rights of their children. It might even cause you to lose your visitation rights, depending upon the severity of the evidence. Even if the mother exhibits violent behavior toward her ex, it will be a black mark against her in the court.

Mental abuse

Unlike physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse is equally disturbing for the authorities. However, it might be difficult to recognize its signs and would not be easy to prove in the court. The case can be strengthened if people have witnessed it and can prove it in court. Emotional abuse is among the leading causes mothers lose custody of their children. Bear in mind, however much you are disturbed by your ex, do not make your children (especially if they are young and have vulnerable minds) into disliking their father. It will not only affect their personality but will also be a valid cause to lose custody.

Interfering with parenting time

Be extra careful if and when it is father’s visitation time. If for some reason, it is not possible for him to see the children this week, make sure that his visitation right is not violated as a habit. This will give him enough cause to file a complaint against you. He might even be keeping a record of each time you crossed him in this regard. If you have intentionally interfered with his parenting time by arranging other activities, this too is a potential cause for losing custody.

Violation of court order

Violating court orders as to custody may be considered a criminal offense. If the mother is found guilty of a violation, she might not be given a second chance and may lose custody. These violations include the inability to comply with the court’s direct orders like interfering with custody arrangements and parenting rights of the father.


Parents are not perfect, we all know that, so does the court. Therefore, however serious neglect of a child including not providing for their basis needs, such as shelter, food, health and dental care, and clothing is a reason for mothers to lose custody. If the child is deprived of basic necessities the court will consider these factors in determining custody rights. So, neglect is another cause for losing custody.

Poor co-parenting

The initial custody arrangement might have been joint custody with the father; however, the mother may face a court case if the father finds enough evidence of the child suffering under mother’s care. Remember that minor likes and dislikes of how the other parent handles the child are not generally a basis for modification of custody. It will only apply if the parent’s attitude is interfering with child’s well-being and performance in studies, etc. If the court feels that the mother is not co-parenting well with the father, then such may be a reason to modify custody.


The mother should be concerned if she is addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc. This can be a solid ground for a custody battle and could lead to regular drug test screening and possibly a change of custody. The judgment may be against the mother if addiction charges are accompanied by any type of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse against the child. To avoid this kind of evidence, the mother will have to provide strong proof of getting help and counseling if she wants to retain custody of her child.

How fathers can get custody of children from their mothers?

Some of the reasons a mother might end up losing custody of her child or children are listed above. These reasons are viable only if the following applies.

You are married to the child’s father

If you are still married to the father of your children, he may decide to file for divorce and seek an award of custody of the child or children.

You are unmarried

The father of the child may still file against you even if you were unmarried from the start or got divorced. If you were not ever married to the father, he will need to file a legitimation case and also seek custody.

You already have a Custody Order

A court order regarding custody of your minor children may be modified if there has been a change of circumstances since the last court order. It is always recommended to have a good attorney to represent you in any custody case.

What’s going to help a mother’s case?

To keep your custody rights, try to avoid all the mistakes mentioned above.

If the Father files for custody, you will also want to have the Court consider factors that weigh against him getting custody.

Too many complaints

Well, no judge or court likes too much badgering. If your ex ends up filing a lot of complaints against you or asks for repeated police investigations without any reasonable basis therefore, this is damaging to his fight to obtain custody.

Emotion over action

Many cases are filed just because the complainer was irritated or angry. These cases often have no solid evidence. If your ex does this kind of thing, and let his emotions play over him, your rights should remain safe. Rather, such emotions are going to be a mark on your ex’s case if he ever goes against you in the future.

Lack of evidence

If the Father does not have any evidence of a change of circumstances materially affecting the welfare of the children, then the Court should not modify the custody award.

Final words

While sometimes the odds may be in favor and the court might actually decide for you, it is not always the case. Child abuse, neglect, keeping them away from their father, endangering their lives, and other reasons give the father a basis to file to modify or be awarded custody.