Child Custody battles. What are the frequently asked questions mothers and fathers pose when it comes to children disputes?
Our courts are inundated with child custody matters. Parents who were once in love and supportive of each other, now find themselves embroiled in a very sensitive and emotional legal battle. The question that is posed; who can best care for the minor child? Is it the mother or the father? Should things remain the same, or is a change warranted.
As you would see below, when deciding on where a child should primarily reside, the court would need to determine what is best for the child. The court is hardly concerned with the wishes and preferences of the parents. Their interests are secondary. However, the court has to consider all factors. That includes the domestic situation of both parents and their ability to care for the child.
I am worried about my child custody case. How can a father lose a child custody battle?
A father will lose a child custody battle if he cannot prove that it is in the child’s best interest that he has custody over the child concerned. It is important when either parent wants a change in the living arrangement for minor children, they need to focus on what is best for the kids, and not them.
I am the biological father of a 10-year-old child. What percentage of fathers win child custody cases?
That would be impossible to say. However, there is an increase in fathers “winning” child custody cases. It must be stated that each custody case is different. Therefore, unless the facts favour a parent having custody over the other, the status quo would remain. Moreover, a father who does not have a case to start with will lose his case. The same would apply to a mother should the father have primary care over the child.
Is it possible for a judge or magistrate to give 50/50 custody over a 15-year-old child?
Yes, it can happen if the parents agree to it. The other way is if the court finds it in the child’s best interests to do so. It all depends on the facts of the case. If parents live far from each other, then it won’t make sense. The same would apply if one parent works late in the evening and unable to care for the children during the day.
Who is most likely to get custody of a child who is not attending school yet?
The parent who the child is more accustomed to, and can better care for the child would most likely get custody over a child who is not attending school yet. Here one has to look at physical, emotional and psychological care as well. Other aspects which may be applicable when the child is older is the ability to assist the child with school work and extramural activities.
I am the biological father of a minor child. How do I prove I am a better parent in court?
You would need to prove that you can care for the child much better than the other parent can. This not only applies to physical needs but also emotional, psychological and educational needs etc. The past is a big determinant of the future. Therefore, if you have always been caring well for the child, then the courts would usually leave things the way they are unless the is a change in circumstances.
I am a single mother fighting to keep my child. How does the court of law determine custody?
Custody is determined based on what is best for the child. The court looks at many factors relevant to your specific situation. These include the ability of the parent to care for the child both physically, emotionally and psychologically. If at the end of the day, the court sees that it would be best for you to have custody, it would order so.
Can text messages be used in a child custody court?
Yes, it can be used if it proves something relevant in a case. For example, the mother saying that she was out whole night partying and left the child with a stranger. The SMS would however not be seen in isolation. The court would have to look at the mother and father’s ability to care for the child. If the father has no experience in caring for the child, then the court would most likely let the minor child remain in the mother’s care.
I just gave birth to my second child. Can a mother lose custody for not having a job?
It is not a requirement to have a job to have custody over a child. If the other parent can contribute towards child maintenance, then that would be used to attend to the needs of the child. Therefore, the mother should apply for more child maintenance if she loses her job.
How can a narcissist win a child custody case?
A narcissist can win a child custody case if he or she can prove that despite being a narcissist, he or she would better care for the child. Being a narcissist does not mean you cannot care for the child. It is also possible that both parents are narcissists. What do you do then? Therefore, the court would look at what is best for the child under the circumstances.
I was never married to my child’s mother. We broke up years ago. When should a father fight for custody?
A parent should always do what he or she thinks is best for the child. If it means fighting for a child, then that is what he or she should do. Therefore, the father should fight for custody if he believes that he can best care for the minor child. If he does not believe he can, then he should leave the child in the mother’s primary care if that is best.
I am unable to speak rationally to the mother of my child. Who gets physical custody?
It is unfortunate when parents fail to speak rationally to each other when it comes to their children. A child must be cared for by the parent who can best physically, emotionally and psychologically care for him or her. It is sometimes hard to determine which parent can best physically care for a minor child. If the matter goes to a court of law, then the parent who can best care for the child primarily would get physical custody of the child.
I do not earn a lot of money. How can I win a child custody case without a lawyer?
Legal services can be very expensive. And some cases can take very long to be finalised. There is however no need to make use of a lawyer in a child custody case. It is however always advisable to make use of one if you can afford it. It is possible to win a child custody case either way if you can prove that you can better care for the child.
I broke up with the father of my child soon after he was born. Can a good mom lose custody? My child is now 15 years old.
It is very rare for a good mom to lose a child custody case. If there is a custody battle, the father may have to prove that the 15-year-old child wants to live with him and that he can better care for the child despite the mom being good. In this case, the view of the child is taken into consideration. If the father cannot prove that he can better care for the child, then the child would remain with the mother.
I pay child support and regularly try to see my child. Can a father be denied joint custody?
Paying child support and rights of contact are two separate issues. When it comes to issues of custody regarding children, the law looks at what is best for the child concerned. Therefore, yes, a father can be denied joint custody if it is not in the child’s best interests despite him paying child support. The court would also have to look at the mother’s situation if relevant when making an order that the father is denied access.
Can one parent keep a child from the other parent without a court order?
Parents must always act in the child’s best interests. A parent who always had contact or access to a child should continue to do so unless it would be detrimental to the child. Therefore, no, he or she may not keep a child from the other parent unless he or she believes that the child would be in imminent harm or danger.
However, we strongly advise that should a parent believe that it is in the child’s best interests not to have contact with the other parent, that he or she first consult with a child care expert, psychologist or social worker. This is important as the other parent may lay a complaint to the police or to the court. You can then say that your decision was based on expert advice. This is especially so if there is a court order in place.
I hate my child’s father. How can I avoid joint custody?
A child should have both parents in his or her life. Therefore, joint custody, if it is in the child’s best interests must be upheld, despite hating the other parent. This should be the case despite the issues the parents have with each other. Having said that, to be successful, you would need to show the court that the child would best be cared for by having one primary caregiver. You would then have been successful in avoiding joint custody.
I can only find a job as an escort. Can you lose custody for escorting?
Escorting, when done lawfully, could lead someone from losing custody if it would affect his or her ability to care for the child. Parents have many professions, and it would be wrong to say that parents with certain lawful occupations are not allowed to have custody because it involves lawful escorting. Therefore, unless one can prove that lawful escorting would affect the custodial parent’s ability of caring for the child; it would not affect the custody rights.
I only see my child every second weekend. Do I have the right to know who my child is around?
Every parent needs to know where his or her child is, and with whom the child is with at any given time. We are living in dangerous times, and it would only serve the child well if both parents know where the child is and with whom the child is with. However, if a child is with a parent, and the parent visits a friend or goes out to lunch with that friend and the child is with, it may be unreasonable for the other parent to demand to know such information. As long as the parent knows that the child is with the other parent, that should be enough. He or she may check in on the child later during the day.
How can a mother win custody of a child?
When it comes to child custody cases, the law looks at what is in the child’s best interest. If there is a custody battle or dispute, the parent who would be successful is the one who can show that the child’s best interest is met. Therefore, a mother can win custody if she can prove that she can better care for the child than the father. The opposite also applies. If the father can prove that the child would be best cared for by him, he would “win” the custody case.
Can a stay at home mom get custody?
Any parent can get custody over a child. This applies to mothers and fathers whether or not they are stay at home parents, working or unemployed. He or she must prove that having custody would be in the child’s best interests. Therefore, a stay at home mom can get custody over a minor child. The same applies to the father
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