I hate this word so much that I stopped using it in 2015. In my experience, the word “custody” improperly conjures up images of children as property, wrapped in chains and used as “tug-of-war” by the parents.
Alternatively, whenever I hear “custody”, I think of a criminal in the back of a police car.
Some states, like Illinois, have stopped using the word “custody” in their family laws. Instead of “custody”, the Legislature replaced it with words like, “parenting time” and “parenting responsibility”, which is more accurate to what happens in a divorcing family.
No more custody battles! Instead, you have “parenting time” and “Parenting responsibility” battles.
The Reality of Having Children 101
Here is the stark harsh reality of having a child with someone. You are bonded for life. It doesn’t matter if they are a “deadbeat”, “golddigger”, “slut”, “skank”, or “loser”. Once you have procreated with another human being, the child is 1/2 you and 1/2 the other.
Never badmouth each other to your child, because you are telling that poor child they are 1/2 bad. I always give a copy of these 200 Blunt Word for Divorcing Parents by Judge Michael Haas to my clients with children.
“Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem and your fault.
No matter what you think of the other party—or what your family thinks of the other party—these children are one-half of each of your. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an “idiot” his father is, or what a “fool” his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child half of him is bad.
That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child. That is not love. That is possession. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you had cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.
I sincerely hope that you do not do that to your children. Think more about your children and less about yourselves, and make yours a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer.”
With that essential preface, here is how to lose custody and ruin your children.
Violate Court Orders
If you have an order for joint custody, the best way to lose custody is to disobey it. Withhold the kids. Fabricate a poor excuse to get out of sharing. Be the most unreasonable gatekeeper in the history of gatekeeping.
By the way, before you even go to Court, learn the law. Understand that California has a default buzzphrase for custody in the event of divorce or separation. The Courts want to ensure the child have “frequent and continuing contact with both parents”.
Kidnapping Your Children
Absconding with the children is stupid and you will lose custody altogether. Not to mention it hurts the children!
There is a presumption against custody if there is a finding of perpetrating of domestic violence against the other party, or the child.
Domestic violence, as well as false accusations of domestic violence, are common in family law. If you have been falsely accused, there are things you can do to defend yourself and custody.
Child abuse must be reported. Call the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.