It's a common question many parents have: Is there ever a reason why a parent would not be granted custody? In some cases, joint custody would not be in the child's best interests, and one parent may be awarded sole custody with the other granted supervised visitation.
Common Reasons a Parent May Be Denied Joint Custody
When determining what is in the best interests of the child, the court will consider many factors.
Parent Has a History of Abuse or Neglect
One factor that may be considered is the history of abuse or neglect by either parent. If there is a history of abuse or neglect, the court may find that it is not in the child's best interests to be in a joint custody arrangement with that parent.
Another factor that may be taken into account is the child's ability to maintain a relationship with both parents. For example, if one parent has been abusive or neglectful towards the child in the past, this may impact the child's ability to have a positive relationship with that parent moving forward. Thus, the court may find that it is not in the child's best interests to have joint custody with that parent.
The court will also consider the child's age, developmental needs, and health when determining what is in the best interests of the child. In some cases, joint custody may not be appropriate for very young children or children with special needs, for example.
Parent is Unfit to Care for the Child
In some cases, one parent may be deemed unfit to care for the child. This could be due to a variety of factors, such as a history of abuse or neglect, a lack of parenting skills, or a mental or physical impairment that makes it difficult for the parent to care for the child. If the court finds that one parent is unfit to care for the child, it may award sole custody to the other parent.
It is important to note that even if one parent is deemed unfit to care for the child, the court may still grant that parent supervised visitation. This means that the parent would be allowed to visit with the child under the supervision of another adult. Supervised visitation may be ordered if the court believes it is in the best interests of the child.
Ultimately, the courts use a standard of "the child's best interests" when determining custody. In some cases, joint custody would not be in the child's best interests, and one parent may be awarded sole custody with the other granted supervised visitation. However, there are some cases where both parents may be seen as being capable of caring for their child, and a decision can be made based on other factors such as the level of involvement each parent has had in their child's life up to this point, the relative stability of each parent's home environment, and any criminal charges that may be pending against either parent.
If you are facing a custody battle and are concerned about your chances of being awarded sole or joint custody, it is important to seek legal representation to help you navigate the process and advocate on your behalf. Coates Frey Hackett & Gibson, AAL LLLC is available to help you settle the emotionally charged child custody issues in your case. Call our Honolulu child custody lawyer today to review your case: (808) 518-6376