Can the Other Parent Take My Children From Me?
One of the hardest things for a couple in the aftermath of a break-up or divorce is putting their personal differences aside for the sake of their children. Power struggles and the desire to get revenge can have major impacts on their ability to work out reasonable child time-sharing arrangements. This is one of many reasons why going to court and getting a formal order put in place is a good idea.
Unfortunately, despite an order, your former partner may have begun making threats. Can they take your children away or deny you visits? In general, no. The following outlines some of the factors that influence these types of cases and ways you can protect your rights to your child.
Situations Which Could Jeopardize Your Rights to Your Children
In cases where parents are divorced or otherwise no longer living together, the court generally works toward creating child time-sharing plans that allow both parties to remain active and involved in the child’s life. Under the Florida Statutes, the primary concern is the child’s best interests.
A judge will consider their specific needs along with each parent’s ability to provide for them in issuing an order in the case. Other important factors include each parent’s current and prior role in the child’s life and their ability to cooperate with the other party in providing for them. There are issues that the other parent can bring up, which could limit your parental rights. These include:
- A criminal history and associating with known felons;
- Drug and alcohol problems, for which you refuse to get help;
- A history of mental health issues, which have gone untreated;
- Past issues with domestic violence or child abuse and neglect.
These are serious allegations that require some evidence or proof. A groundless accusation made by the other parent for the sole purpose of jeopardizing your rights in child time-sharing arrangements will likely backfire and reflect badly on them before the judge.
Actions You Can Take To Protect Your Parental Rights
Despite a court order, there are actions the other parent can take that can jeopardize your relationship with your child. Parental interference is when one parent refuses to return the child or limits your ability to see them. They may also attempt to turn the child against you through the following:
- Badmouthing you in front of the child;
- Blaming you for the problems with the relationship;
- Overindulging the child or not following established rules;
- Sabotaging your efforts and causing disruptions in your schedule.
In cases of parental interference, threats, and other bad behavior, you may be able to request a child time-sharing modification. This allows the court to review the situation and can limit the other parent’s access to the child while the problem is being addressed.
Let us Help You Today
Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney Vanessa L. Prieto is dedicated to protecting the rights of parents and their children. To discuss your case and the options available, contact our office to schedule a consultation today.