Can a Mother keep the child away from the father ?
If there is not any court order a mother can keep the child away from the father if the father does not take any legal action.
There are different ways to take legal action depending on your circumstances. If the father and mother were never married, the proper legal action would be to establish paternity and ask the court for custody/visitation.
Another situation is the father and mother are married, but one of the parents moved out and the mother keeps the child away from the father. If the parents do not wish to start a divorce, the father can file a petition for child custody and visitation and possibly for child support.
The next case scenario is father and mother are married, and one of the parents filed for a divorce. Some divorces are taking a very long time to complete. If parents are in the process of the divorce and the mother keeps the child away from the father, the father can file a motion with the court asking for the court order for temporary child custody and visitation before the final judgment is entered.
Let look closer on some of those situations.
Can a Mother keep the child away from the father in a divorce?
Things happen. Marriages break down, families get torn apart, and kids are left stranded in the middle trying to cling to the past when mom and dad were still together. When divorce involved children, it can turn what is already a difficult and hurtful time into a far bigger issue. Both parents are not able to have the children at the same time, so custody agreements come into play.
Unfortunately, during the divorce and after the divorce parents can find themselves inadvertently using their children as weapons of anger and resentment by trying to turn them against one another or preventing the kids from seeing the other parent on scheduled days. That leaves many wonderings: can a mother keep the child away from the father?
If there is a joint custody agreement established, it would be very difficult but not impossible for a mother to try. Most of the time, joint custody is the preferred choice, where both parents spend equal time with their children. But sometimes the court would rule for one parent lives with children and the other parent is awarded visitation rights on alternating weekends and holidays.
The mother may feel that the child is safer with her than with the father. She may be afraid that he won’t provide better care or feed them properly and they will come back home having eaten only junk food and candy. She may hold resentment towards the way she was treated or made to feel during the divorce. She may want to punish the father for his actions or inactions in the past. The list goes on and on. Which multiplies the reasons that someone would think to ask: can a mother keep the child away from the father,
Rights of a Father-Can a Mother keep the child away from the father
Legally, parents have the right to have a relationship with their kids, as long as that relationship remains in the best interest of the child. Fathers could discover that those rights are being trampled on when they start seeing their children less and less or are struggling to make arrangements with the mother to swap off. California parental alienation laws exist to prevent a mother from keeping the child away from the father, or one parent from isolating the child from the other parent. This isolation has proven to be detrimental to a child’s welfare and can have lasting effects on their mental development. Keeping a child away from one of their parents is not in the child’s best interest.
California law states that it is in the best interest of the child to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents and judges are finding themselves awarding more and more custody to the father and giving the mother visitation rights. Still, mothers are awarded custody more often than fathers which leave the question: can a mother keep the child away from the father, at the forefront of many minds.
It is certainly not impossible for a mother to try to keep the child away from the father but if the parents share joint custody a mother cannot keep decisions relating to the child’s health, education, and welfare away from the father. That doesn’t mean she can’t try to prevent the children from going over to his house on scheduled weekends because she doesn’t like the father’s new girl-friend or hinder the father’s ability to maintain a relationship with his kids because of her new boyfriend doesn’t like the father either.
Fathers have rights. Fathers have the authority to question: can a mother keep the child away from the father and not let that scenario happen. Fathers have a responsibility to be there, for their kids, and sometimes that responsibility means they have to fight for their rights if they believe they are being trampled on. Parental alienation lawsuits are one of the fastest-growing cases that family and divorce lawyers are taking as more and more fathers begin fighting for their rights to be a parent.
YOUR RESOURCES – Can a Mother keep the child away from the father
Now if a mother wanted to keep her child away from the father, it would need to be for a good reason. She cannot simply keep the child from visitation with the father because she is unhappy in some way or she wants to punish the father for something he might have done. However, that is usually not the case, as most parents want the child to have a natural, growing, and healthy relationship with the other parent. Studies have proven that it is just as beneficial for the child to have a relationship with the father, just as much as the mother and California law reflects this.
So if a mother wanted to keep the child away from the father, she would need to prove that the father is unfit and that the child being around that parent is not in the best interest of the child. There are indeed instances where someone would ask: can a mother keep the child away from the father, and it be a perfectly reasonable question. Does the father have a history of abuse or violence? Is he neglectful? Is it in the child’s best interest? California courts take into consideration a lot of factors that determine custodial privileges and visitation rights including past history of alcohol abuse, illegal drug use and violence. If there is something in the past history that would place child at risk, the court might order supervised visitation.
There are pathways that can be taken if you are asking yourself: can a mother keep the child away from the father and it is for a good reason. Additionally, if you are a father and you find yourself asking the same question, there are resources you can use to help fight to prevent parental alienation. It is best to seek advice from a licensed family lawyer if you have any questions about those resources and pathways. California Family Law is extensive and can be overwhelming to tackle on your own.
[…] At the beginning of this blog I stated that the GENERAL answer on the question do I have the right to know where my child is during visitation is yes. However, there might be a situation when there is no court order establishing a parent’s right and/or visitation. If the parents were not married and the father has not taken legal action. We have discussed this situation briefly in the blog can the mother keep away the child from the father […]
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