father with child

How Can a Father Lose Custody in Missouri?

Separating from your spouse can be more stressful if you have children and are trying to work out a fair custody agreement that works for you as a father and your child. While the court will do everything they can to develop an agreement that prioritizes the best interest of your child, custody isn’t always a guarantee. There are things you can do that can cause you to lose custody of your child. 

While your Missouri family law attorney may be able to represent your case to the court, it’s best if you avoid putting yourself in situations that could jeopardize your custody arrangements. These are a few situations that can cause fathers to lose custody of their kids.

father with child

Committing a Crime

Minor infractions like speeding tickets and parking tickets may technically be a crime, but they’re not severe enough to cause you to lose custody of your child. However, if you commit a crime that leads to an arrest, even if it’s a misdemeanor, you risk losing custody of your child. If you’re engaged in behaviors that toe the line legally but want to retain custody, you’ll need to stop those behaviors entirely. 

Being Physically or Emotionally Abusive

The court prioritizes the welfare of your child at all times. If you’re found to be physically or emotionally abusive to your child or are neglecting their needs in any way, you will likely lose custody. Now, disciplining your child and making them cry in frustration shouldn’t count as abuse in the eyes of the court unless you’re found to be causing undue strain on your child’s mental or physical health. Keep in mind that you may be able to contest custody decisions made without clear proof of abuse. Your best bet is to discuss your concerns with your Missouri family law attorney.

Actively Abusing Drugs or Alcohol

The court expects both parents to provide a safe space for their child to grow up at all times. If you’re found to actively be abusing drugs, alcohol, or any other illicit substance, the court may revoke your custody rights. However, you may be able to have your rights restored if you undergo treatment, therapy, or another court-approved treatment process and exhibit consistent and responsible behaviors afterward. Your attorney will work with you to present your case to the court if you’re in recovery and have a proven track record of success.

Violating Court Orders or Judgments

The court issues orders and judgments for a reason. If you violate them in any way, you risk losing custody of your child. Once you violate an order or judgment, the court may have less confidence in your ability to adhere to future rulings and may be less willing to revisit your custody agreements. If you have concerns about an order, speak with your Missouri family law attorney. They’ll be able to represent your interests and voice your concerns to the court so you can stay in good standing and maintain your current custody agreement for the time being.

Speak With Your Missouri Family Law Attorney

Navigating custody issues can be difficult for any parent, but for fathers in Missouri, making sure their rights are upheld and their parenting skills are given equal weight can be difficult. If you’re worried about retaining custody of your child, have issues with your current agreement, or believe that you’re a more suitable parent, contact Columbia Family Law today to schedule a consultation.