News and Resources

Common Reasons Parents Could Lose Custody of Their Children

San Diego, CA – When ruling on child custody cases, California courts take several factors into account, but it all boils down to what your child wants and needs.

The Best Interest of the Child

child custody CAA judge’s first consideration is termed “the best interest of the child.” This encompasses your child’s age and health; emotional bonds between each parent and child; each parent’s fitness as a caretaker; history of abuse or neglect; and your child’s ties to school, home, and community. Since California does not automatically award custody to the child’s mother or father, the above factors are heavily weighed. The ultimate goal is placing your child or children in the most ideal care possible. However, the situations below would likely result in the loss of your or the other parent’s custody.

Abuse of Any Type or False Allegations

Be it physical, verbal, or emotional; abuse exists in many forms. If the abuse is directed toward either you or your child, it can be solid grounds for revoking or denying custody. If possible, keep a record of all evidence of instances where the child’s other parent was abusive. Verbal attacks in the courtroom, on the phone, or online may also constitute abuse. Additionally, false allegations of child abuse can be cause for losing custody. Make sure you share this information with your family attorney, as it can play a critical role in determining custody.

Drug or Criminal Charges

As the child’s wellbeing is always the top concern in custody cases, a judge may deem a parent with unaddressed drug issues to be unfit for parenting until rehabilitation is complete. On a related note, any outstanding criminal charges raise a red flag in the courtroom; if the other parent is facing a jail sentence, that would affect his or her ability to care for your child.

You and Your Child’s Community

Though the mother is often seen as fulfilling the role of primary caregiver, this may not always be the case. The court will view you favorably, regardless of your gender, if you are the primary caregiver for your child. Moreover, involvement in your child’s community is key. If one parent hasn’t made an effort to attend parent-teacher nights and extracurricular events, this may show the judge that they are not the best choice for sole or primary custody. In severe cases, neglect could also rule out custody. Finally, if teachers, counselors, or social workers hear anything negative about your child’s quality of life – especially if abuse is suspected—they have an obligation to report this information to authorities.

The bottom line is to be involved and supportive in your child’s life, ensuring that he or she has the best living environment possible.

To meet with experienced family law attorneys to discuss custody cases, schedule a free consultation with Griffith, Young, and Lass today!

© 2017 Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.


Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.


Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.


  • acfis
  • acfis
  • bear
  • bear
  • bear
The Typical Divorce Process in California
Discovery of Assets & Obligations (1-3 months)
1 Complaint for Divorce Filed Start of litigation
2 Complaint is Served Varies, but usually shortly after the complaint is filed
3 Answer to Complaint Due 30 days from the date of service
4 Mediation Anytime, but usually after initial discovery
5 Temporary Hearing Usually early in the process
6 Late Case Evaluation / Judicial Hosted Settlement Conference Usually near the end of the case
7 Trial (If Needed) The goal is to settle, but if your case goes to trial, it could take months after the start of litigation.
We deliver results
I am beyond grateful for the entire staff at Griffith, Young, and Lass. I don't even call myself a client anymore, they are my friends that protected my family and fought with me, side by side.-Erik H., San Diego