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Steps to regain child custody

When a parent loses custody in California, it might feel as if the entire situation is hopeless. However, it is often possible to remedy the situation that led to the loss of custody and regain custody of your children. The process can be long, so patience, flexibility and understanding are advised, as you deal with finding solutions to the issues that led to losing custody in the first place.

Evaluate your situation and make a plan

A loss of child custody can happen for a variety of reasons, including abandoning or losing communication with a child, child abuse or neglect, and drug or alcohol abuse. The first step you need to take is to make an honest assessment of why you lost custody and the steps you need to take, whether court-ordered or not, to prove that the situation has changed and that you deserve to regain custody. Part of this step might also include consulting with a family law attorney who can provide guidance and support during the process.

Begin working on changes

During this step, you should carefully review any conditions established by the court in order to regain custody. These can include mediation with the other parent, rehab or counseling and begin following those. Other things you can do to prove that the situation has changed include:

  • Following all court orders regarding child custody and visitation
  • Avoid missing any court appearances or rescheduling any scheduled visitation with your children.
  • Taking parenting classes
  • Making updates and fixes to your home to help you make the environment more suitable for the children

When courts decide custody, they focus on the best interest of the child. Prepare yourself to prove to the court that that is exactly your focus as well, ensure that you are having positive communication with the other parent or guardian and provide proof of the changes you have made.