As a child custody lawyer, we believe that it tends to be better for a child to have a relationship with both of their parents. However, there are some cases in which keeping a child away from one parent might be in their best interest. For example, when a parent is abusive or engages in criminal behavior, keeping a child away from their reach might be necessary. Sometimes, it is legal to stop all contact between a child and their parent. This is up to a judge to decide and cannot be a decision made by a parent. The exception to this is when the child is in imminent danger. If you are considering legally alienating your ex from your child, or children, you should know that this is not a simple task and should not be pursued without a child custody lawyer.
Preventing Your Ex to Have Custody of Your Child
If you are thinking about keeping your child away from any and all access or communication to their other parent, you must be able to show an ample amount of reason, along with evidence. As a child custody lawyer might tell you, it is not common for a judge to grant complete control to one parent. In order for this to be given, proof that the other parent is somehow unfit must be demonstrated to the court. For example, physical or sexual abuse towards the children, or a substance addiction, will likely be sufficient enough for the courts to comply with your request. When a situation is not as serious, or you just don’t want the other parent to see your child, it might be very difficult to gain sole custody, without the other parent having any visitation rights of the child. If there are suspected issues, but nothing can be proven, a judge might order supervised visitation.
To have full control over all legal and physical decisions regarding a child, sole custody must be awarded to you. Whereas, when parents share custody, both have some level of say in the child’s wellbeing, healthcare, education, and overall upbringing. Sole custody gives one parent the right to control these things. It should be understood that even when a parent has sole custody, the other parent could have visitation rights. Thus, the parent with sole custody cannot simply deny any access to the child without first notifying the court.
For example, the parent with sole custody must notify the courts when they would like to relocate to another place. This is because the parent with visitation rights could be affected. If the parent with sole custody fails to follow the court-ordered schedule for visitation, there could be significant consequences.
If you are seeking to change a child custody agreement, or are concerned about the safety of your child and need to file an immediate petition to cease contact between the child and the child’s parent (your ex), please call a child custody lawyer right now.