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Family Law Blog

How to Get Child Custody Back

November 30, 2022

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Getting Custody Back After Abuse, Drug, or Neglect

Sometimes we get calls from potential clients after they lost custody of their kids and the other parent has custody. They may have lost custody because they abused the children or neglected the children in some way. Sometimes people lose custody of their kids because they abused their kids in some way. In the state of California, there is always a possibility of getting custodial time back. Virtually every forensic psychologist on earth will say that it is in the child’s best interest to have a healthy relationship with both parents. That includes parents that are not really good at their role or even good people in general. And that is because children don’t care whether the parent is a good person. They psychologically just need a connection with both of their parents. We can argue that it is just a natural need that people have. Judges keep that in mind and with that judges are always trying to get both parents back in the children’s life.

Sometimes this requires that the visits between the children and the parent be monitored because the parent is abusive or because they do have alcohol or drug problems. And we need to make sure that the parent is not abusing the child during the visits or they’re not using drugs or alcohol before they show up to the visit. And that’s what a monitor will be able to police.

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Getting Custody Back after Child Abuse

Now, if you lost custody of your children because you abused them, you are gonna have a difficult road getting back to visits with your children. But it is possible. What you need to do immediately is start taking online courses that help you with domestic violence or anger management, especially anger management. If the court ordered you to take anger management classes, then obviously you need to do that per the court order. But even if the judge did not order you to take anger management classes, that is a great place to start. I would suggest at least 26 weeks worth of a class. Yes, the classes do cost money. However, if you wanna see your kids, it’s a small price to pay to pay for these classes and get online once a week for a short time and that’s what you need to do.

Getting Custody Back after Domestic Violence

If you lost custody of your kids because there was spousal abuse and not child abuse, then you should also complete the anger management class. But you should also take classes online that discuss and help with high conflict divorces or high conflict relationships between the parents. That is another great class to take. And frankly, you will learn things from both of these classes. I have taken these classes myself just to see what my clients are experiencing and they are very helpful. There’s information in there that will help any parent, even very experienced, perfectly good parents will learn things from these classes. If you lost your children due to abuse or neglect or some other reason and the state of California Child Protective Services got involved in your case, then you need to make sure to do whatever the social workers told you that you need to do.

Getting Custody Back after Drug or Alcohol Dependency

If you lost custody because of alcohol or drugs, before you go to court, you’re gonna wanna show that you have entered a 12 step program. Most people don’t wanna do that, but it is absolutely helpful if you’ve got a drug or alcohol problem. But before you walk into court, you’re gonna wanna show that you’ve been doing at least one meeting per week for a long period of time. Typically six months or more. You are gonna wanna be able to name your sponsor. You’re gonna be able to name your sobriety date. You are gonna have to be able to tell the judge that you are sober, that you are not using alcohol or drugs when you stand in front of them. And if you try to “BS” a judge, know that they deal with this every single day and they will know. You’re gonna wanna tell the judge the kind of things that you learned, why it’s working for you, how you’re staying sober. These are the important things that you’re gonna wanna look a judge in the eye and tell them. Or they’re gonna say, “Why should I give you custody back? Why should I give you time with your children if you’re just gonna be using drugs and alcohol again?” Finally, after completing any of these classes, any of these things that you are ordered to do or that you’re doing voluntarily, you wanna get a certificate of completion and you’re gonna wanna make sure that you keep that because you’re gonna wanna show it to the judge later when you go back to court.

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