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How to avoid losing custody of your child

If you want to make sure you keep custody of your child, it's a good idea to look into ways that you could hurt your ability to keep custody. Understanding what you can't do can help you be the best possible parent while following the law.

What kinds of things impact your ability to obtain custody? Here are a few things that could hurt you when you go before a judge.

1. You weren't participating as a caretaker

If you're the parent who was never home and didn't participate actively in raising your child, there's a lower chance of you obtaining custody rights. Most courts want to see shared custody rights, but in certain situations, this could lead to you losing a majority of your rights to see your child.

2. You have parental fitness concerns

No judge wants to place a child in the custody of someone who takes drugs, drinks or otherwise struggles to be an upstanding citizen. Be on guard and avoid drugs and alcohol, so you don't lose custody because of allegations of substance abuse.

3. Rudeness is hurtful in court

Being rude to the other parent, the judge or your attorney can all make you look bad as a person and parent. Judges look positively on parents who represent themselves with kindness and respect.

Knowing how to act in court and what kinds of things to do to present yourself in the best light can help you keep custody of your child. Your attorney can give you tips on how to stay in the judge's good graces.

Source: Huffington Post, "How to Lose Child Custody," Jacqueline Harounian, Esq., accessed Jan. 31, 2018

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