Coming to agreements for child custody is difficult for many divorcing couples. Concerns are particularly serious when there are questions about the fitness of either parent. When you raise concerns about a potentially unfit parent, you should understand some of the things that qualify.
There are a few common indications of an unfit parent.
Lack of contact
If a parent is distant from their child and without contact for several months or more, the court considers that lack of contact. The more time that passes without contact, the less familiar the child likely is with the parent, and the less of a relationship exists. Sometimes, this qualifies as abandonment.
A parent that routinely makes unsafe decisions, such as exposing young children to drug or alcohol use, R-rated movies or hazardous environments, may qualify as an unfit parent. Responsible parents act in the best interest of their children and keep them safe.
Incapable of meeting care needs
Especially when you have a child with special needs or developmental issues, consider whether both parents are able to meet those needs sufficiently. If one parent is unable to fulfill the child’s needs or provide a proper environment, custody decisions account for that.
Drug or alcohol abuse history
Any history of drug or alcohol abuse is relevant to the court’s decision about parental fitness. Addiction history poses safety concerns for children in that adult’s care.
Protect your children by addressing any concerns of an unfit parent during the child custody ruling. The more information you provide in court, the easier it is for the judge to make a determination.