The days of automatically awarding primary custody to mothers over fathers are long gone. Today, mothers are no longer considered inherently better at parenting. A judge can award custody to either parent, as the circumstances may merit.
If you are not married to the parent of your children, you need to consider your custody arrangements carefully. A family law attorney can help you understand all the options and rights available to you under the law. You might be entitled to joint custody if you want it, or mistakes in your past may render you an unfit parent under the law, in which case you may have your custody and/or visitation rights restricted.
If you aren’t happy with your current custody arrangements, you can always request that your attorney petition for custody modifications La Verne CA. Common reasons for custody modifications include:
- Drug use
- Criminal activity
- Mental health deterioration
- Improved behavior of non-custodial spouse
- Mutual parental preference
- Death of primary custodian
For example, if you were denied unsupervised visitation rights because of past drug use, but you have since completed a rehab program or otherwise proven that you are ready to be a better parent, you can petition for the custody agreement to be changed to give you more time with your child or children.
When considering custody modifications, remember that there are two types of custody to consider: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make choices regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare, while physical custody is the right to have the child in your physical presence and care. Often, legal custody can be shared equally even if physical custody is not.