While you may have seen your divorce coming for some time, you may not have anticipated the degree of conflict that is now coming with it. In particular, you did not expect your spouse to take such a hostile approach to gaining custody of your children. Now, his or her actions have given you reason to believe that you will have a serious custody battle on your hands.
Unfortunately, your soon-to-be ex-spouse may attempt to make false accusations against you in court in an effort to gain custody of the kids. Those accusations could include trying to paint you as an unfit parent in hopes that the other parent will gain sole custody. While these actions may seem deplorable to you, it is important that you understand how to defend your rights as a parent during such a case.
Proving someone is unfit
A positive aspect to this type of scenario is that your spouse cannot simply claim that you are an unfit parent and have the court agree. If he or she takes this route, it would be necessary for your spouse to present evidence to the court that shows any of the following elements that would make you an unfit parent:
- You neglect the children
- You have abandoned the children.
- You have abused the children.
- You have treated the children in extremely cruel ways.
- You have not maintained a reasonable interest or concern regarding your children’s lives.
- You have not taken responsibility for ensuring the children’s welfare.
Even if you think that no evidence to support such claims exist, it is important to remember that the other parent may somehow find evidence or skew information to make it appear that you are unfit. As a result, even if you feel that such claims are baseless, it is still wise to consider your options for defending against these accusations, such as having character witnesses to testify to your good relationship with your children.
Protecting your parental rights
You may also want to keep in mind that the definition of an unfit parent varies from state to state, so understanding what elements California courts may consider when determining whether a parent is unfit may help your case. Preparing for a custody battle is not an easy situation, but you do not have to do so alone. Discussing your specific circumstances and concerns with an experienced attorney may help you find your best routes for moving forward.