No. At one time, mothers nearly always won custody of the children after a divorce. It was long assumed that mothers were the best caretakers.
That has changed. Courts work to find a custody arrangement that supports a child’s needs. It’s now understood that children do best when both parents are involved. It’s rare for either parent to be denied custody of and lose access to their children, and both mothers and fathers are treated equally under the law.
Three reasons a parent may lose custody rights
Mothers and fathers alike could find their access to their children very limited or custody lost over the following issues:
- Abuse: Proof that a parent has abused any child is a top reason for losing child custody. Abuse comes in many forms including, physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse.
- Substance abuse: When a parent abuses drugs or alcohol, it is unlikely that they will win in a child custody dispute. Courts must put the safety of children first in all situations.
- Abduction: If a parent decides to flee with the child during custody or divorce proceedings, it will significantly harm their chances of acquiring custody. Neither parent is permitted to take a child away from the other parent without permission.
At this point, it is vital to understand that the behaviors discussed above will put either parent’s custody rights at risk, regardless of gender.
Even unfounded accusations of abuse or other unsafe activities can complicate child custody issues. Parents afraid of unfairly losing custody for any reason should consider finding an advocate to help them establish their fitness as a caregiver.