Custody battles typically begin once a parent notifies the court system of an issue involving the other parent and the child. The parent who is making the allegation will need to provide a declaration to the court, as well as proof of the claim. If the judge believes an imminent threat is at hand, a ruling may be made immediately. Otherwise, an investigation will be performed. This involves a court-appointed investigator to look into the allegations.

When a parent loses custody of a child, it typically involves the loss of legal and physical custody. Here are five common reasons as to why/how a parent loses custody of their child(ren).


  1. Child Abuse. This is one of the most common reasons why a parent loses custody of a child. Abuse is often evident through scars, bruises, cuts, and marks. It can be the result of the parent’s anger, his or her issues with addiction, or the presence of sexual behavior towards the child.
  2. Spousal abuse. If a parent has committed domestic violence against his or her spouse, this can cause them to lose custody of their child, as the environment is no longer safe for the child to live in.
  3. Drug and/or alcohol abuse. This includes the abuse of prescribed substances as well.
  4. The violation of a custody order. Scheduling conflicts can occur when two parents are sharing custody of their child or children. It is possible, however, for a parent to violate the terms laid out in the custody order. If one parent makes a decision about the child’s extracurricular activities without consulting the other parent, thus cutting into their time with the child, the custody order can be modified to the extent of causing the parent to lose custody.
  5. Alienation and false claims. While it is sad to say, there are some parents who try to alienate their children from the other parent, often making up lies and tricking them into believing they have been abused or neglected by the other parent in order to gain full custody. If a parent makes false claims against the other, and those claims are proven to be false, they are at risk of losing custody.