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Can a Parent Legally Take Their Child Away from the Other Parent?

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Sole custody is not favored in court. This type of custody, however, is warranted when the child’s well-being is at stake. So yes, a parent CAN legally take their child away from the other parent. But, when the child is in safe hands with either parent, sole custody is unlikely to be granted. The following are scenarios when one parent may be granted sole custody.

Co-parenting is necessary for a child to be aware of different perspectives and approaches to life. When both parents are actively involved in the child’s upbringing, the child will benefit significantly in the long run. This is why family courts prefer the involvement of both parents in the child’s life.Child Support Lawyers in Oak Lawn, IL

Raising a child requires immense emotional and financial resources and responsibility. When two parents divide the responsibility of child rearing, less friction is experienced in the relationship. In addition, the burdens and stresses involved with bringing up a child are lessened for either parent.

A parent may be unfit to raise a child. Many reasons can cause a mother or father to fail as a parent. A court is more inclined to grant sole custody to one capable parent when the other is likely to harm the well-being of the child in some way.

How a Parent Can Legally Take their Child Away from the Other Parent

  1. Incarceration. A parent who is incarcerated is unable to provide the life essentials to the child. Such a parent is incapable of providing financial resources, adequate shelter, food or proper guidance when behind bars. During the period of incarceration, the other parent will be granted sole custody.
  2. Mental Instability. The courts also look at mental fitness. A parent who struggles with mental health will be required to provide the courts with a treatment plan. If the courts determine that the parent does not possess the mental capacity to raise the child, the other parent may be granted sole custody.
  3. Child Abuse. Protecting the child and ensuring the child’s well-being are paramount in family court. Abuse, including physical and sexual, are not tolerated by the courts. When a parent is found to be abusive, it is grounds for the courts to award sole custody to the better parent.
  4. Neglect occurs when a parent fails to provide the child with necessary medical care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter or other life essentials. If neglect has occurred in the past, the courts will conclude it may continue in the future. Consequently, the able parent may be awarded sole custody.
  5. Substance Abuse. Substance abuse is frowned upon, especially when it comes to the well-being of the child. A parent who abuses drugs or alcohol will experience an altered state of mind and cannot possibly care for the child. In cases of substance abuse, courts will prefer sole custody.
  6. A child must remain physically protected at all times. When a parent abandons the child, does not attempt to make contact or shows little interest in caring for the child, the parent acts as a stranger. In order to promote the well-being of the child, sole custody will be considered.
  7. Out of State. Sometimes both parents may be well-meaning. However, one parent may decide to relocate to another country or state. While shared parental responsibility is an option, most courts will consider the vast physical distance and grant sole custody to one parent.

What strengthens a case for sole custody?Talk-with-Employer-Workers-Compensation

Requesting sole custody should be done in the best interests of the child. Unfortunately, some parents want to hurt an ex, try to win more child support or attempt to wiggle out of paying child support. Parents may feel an ex will not care for the child as well.

The main reason for seeking sole custody is to protect the child. However, false claims are common in court, which is why a parent who seeks sole custody should be prepared to make a case. Proving the other parent is harmful, potentially harmful or otherwise unfit requires evidence.

Official documents can influence a court’s decision to award sole custody. Testimony from a friend or family member is insufficient to persuade the courts of wrongdoing. Medical records, police reports and photographs, however, are weighty pieces of evidence of neglect or harm.

The courts can also step in and conduct a drug test upon suspicion that the other parent is abusing drugs. A failed drug test is condemning. In some states, an impartial mental health professional can also become involved and provide a custody evaluation.

A parent can also keep track of visits. Long absences between visits can be proven by asking the other parent to provide a photo with the child on a day he or she falsely claims to have visited. Digital photos come with date details embedded within the properties tab.

Although rare, a parent may be granted sole custody. In such instances, the child is legally taken away from the other parent. As mentioned, courts prefer parental involvement from both sides, making it imperative that a parent who seeks sole custody prepare a compelling case.

Work with a Child Custody AttorneyBerry-K.-Tucker-Divorce-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

When you aim to make a strong case for sole custody, seek the expert legal counsel from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our firm of family law attorneys brings over fifty years of experience in all matters surrounding child custody (parental responsibility).

Our child custody lawyers advocate for the well-being of you and your child. We conduct heavy research, thorough investigations and are prepared for all situations. Our attorneys handle parental responsibility cases promptly so that your family can return to normal life as quickly as possible.

As Illinois family laws evolve, the attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. stay updated on all changes. We have won countless cases that have resulted in joint custody, shared parenting or full custody. In every case, our firm has ensured the well-being of the child.

Contact Us

When you anticipate a child custody battle, turn to the family law attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. We will fight for your rights as a parent and protect the welfare of your child. Our firm serves families in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Call us at (708) 425-9530 to get started with an initial consultation.

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