When a romantic relationship breaks down and the couple has a child, the parents couple should agree on a custody plan. Ideally, the family court prefers a situation where the parents work together to create a parenting plan that serves their child’s best interest. However, if the parents cannot see eye-to-eye on this subject, then the court may have to pronounce a child custody and visitation order.
Depending on the circumstances of your divorce or separation, the court may award primary custody to one parent and visitation rights to the other. However, it is important to understand that this ruling is never cast in stone. A parent can lose their visitation rights under certain circumstances. Here are some of them:
A history of child abuse
The court takes the child’s welfare extremely seriously. As such, evidence of child abuse (physical, emotional, mental or sexual) can be strong grounds for immediate termination of the existing visitation rights. Depending on the nature and/or the severity of the abuse, the non-custodial parent may be barred from unsupervised contact with the child until they receive appropriate professional assistance.
A severe case of abuse (such as sexual abuse) may lead to the prosecution of the parent in question.
Alcohol and substance abuse
Alcohol addiction and substance abuse disorder is another common reason why a non-custodial parent may lose their visitation rights. A parent who is battling addiction or the compulsive use of a mind-altering substance is generally considered a threat to the child’s safety and wellbeing. As such, the court may bar such a parent from having unsupervised contact with the child. The parent in question may lose their visitation rights until they can prove that they have signed up for and received rehabilitation therapy that has resulted in their sobriety.
No parent is perfect, and the family court understands this. However, being unable to put the safety of your child first can be grounds enough for petitioning the court to significantly or limit or eliminate your ex’s interactions with your child.