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I made a mistake as a parent: Will I lose custody of my kids?

No parent is perfect. Despite the fact that there are books, blogs, online newsletters and friends that may say otherwise, there is no one way to raise a child and no formula for being a perfect parent. However, knowing this doesn't necessarily make it easier to deal with parental mistakes.

This can be especially true for Florida parents who share custody of a child with another parent. In these situations, every mistake and seemingly bad decision you make can be put under a microscope and used against you by a bitter ex. It is not unusual for people to be fearful of losing their parental rights if they slip up and make a mistake. However, you should understand that generally, losing custody of your child isn't something that happens after a simple or minor mistake.

As noted in this FindLaw article, many of the reasons why people lose parental rights involve serious misjudgments and failures as a parent. 

For example, you won't lose custody for not feeding your kids vegetables at every meal. But if you fail to provide adequate nourishment and other basic essentials, then there may be grounds for termination of your parental rights.

If you sometimes take a nap when the kids are watching a movie or get distracted while they are playing on the playground and one of them gets injured, that will likely be considered an unfortunate accident. But if you are regularly impaired by drugs or alcohol, emotionally unavailable or otherwise incapacitated, you could lose custody of your children.

Further, if you are a parent who disciplines your child more than the other parent, you may feel as though you could be viewed as dangerous or hurtful. However, unless your actions are abusive, illegal, violent or psychologically damaging, your rights as a parent will generally not be in jeopardy.

Losing custody of a child is undoubtedly a devastating situation for any parent. However, it can happen when a child's welfare, well-being and/or health are in danger. If you are fearful about the prospect of losing custody or if you are concerned that your child is not being properly cared for by another parent, seeking legal support as soon as possible can be crucial.

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Law Office of Kelley A. Joseph, P.A.
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