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5 Reasons a Parent May Lose Custody You Didn’t Know About


Child custody is not eternal. If one parent does something that endangers their child, a Florida court will likely revoke custody rights without any hesitation.

However, that parent must do something very terrible or unacceptable to have child custody revoked in Florida, such as abusing or neglecting the child, sexually assaulting him or her, or repeatedly violating the terms of the custody agreement.

Besides these outrageous behaviors, there are also these five surprising reasons a parent may lose custody in Florida.

Living in an Unsafe Home or Neighborhood

Where a parent lives affects how much, if any, custody they can get from a Florida court. If a court deems the home or neighborhood to be unsafe, it may decide that the child should live with the other parent. The following factors may constitute an “unsafe home”:

  • A building that has been cited for health and safety hazards
  • A neighborhood that is prone to crime
  • A building that has code violations

However, a parent may eventually regain custodial rights by moving to a safer location or home.

Being Unfit

In Florida, a parent may be found “unfit” if they:

  • Abused the child
  • Neglected or abandoned the child
  • Have a history of drug/alcohol abuse
  • Have a serious mental illness

While persons with drug addiction or mental illness are not necessarily bad parents, Florida courts are not willing to put a child in danger if the parent is prone to erratic or dangerous behaviors.

Making False Accusations of Abuse

Abusing a child may get your custodial rights revoked in Florida, but so is making false accusations of abuse.

Child abuse is a serious accusation, which is why Florida courts do not let parents who lie about abuse go unpunished. Every allegation of child abuse will result in a temporary order preventing the accused from seeing the child, which is why false claims can harm both the child and the accused parent.

Keeping an Unsanitary Home

Besides living in an unsafe neighborhood or building, Florida courts are also concerned about the sanitary conditions of a parent’s living space when deciding how much, if any, custody to award.

Failure to keep a home clean could prompt the court the revoke custody. Typically, custody is revoked until the parent cleans up their living space. Otherwise, the parent may lose custody permanently.

Allowing a child to live in unsanitary conditions or dirty home is a form of neglect. How do you know if your home is unsanitary? If the home has black mold, gas leaks, vermin, and other health hazards, it may be considered unsafe.

Badmouthing the Other Parent

Parental alienation occurs when one parent purposefully alienates the child from the other parent. One way to do this is by saying unpleasant things about the child’s father or mother in front of the child.

Any form of manipulation of the child’s feelings to promote parental alienation can cause the court to revoke your custody rights. If you risk losing custody or you believe that the other parent is unfit to be a parent, speak with our Orlando child custody attorney at Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee. Call at 407-521-7171 to talk about your situation.


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