Proving A Parent As Unfit: 3 Things To Know

Dealing with custody disputes can be a daunting experience. This is especially true if both parents want to spend as much time as possible with the child but cannot do so due to the breakup or other circumstances. For one, the court will make the necessary custody arrangements to ensure the best interests of your little one, which may or may not work for you.  

However, if you think the other parent is incapable of taking care of your child, then you may want to declare them unfit to obtain primary custody of your little one or in any Arizona Criminal Attorney. Typically, an unfit parent refers to a parent of a child who fails to give the latter adequate care, guidance, and support due to the former’s fault, habit, or conduct toward the child.  

Read on to be familiar with the three things to know when proving a parent unfit: 

  • You Need To Determine The Grounds For Parental Unfitness 

Because the court will not quickly declare someone as an unfit parent, it’s essential to develop a solid claim to increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome. This is where the grounds for parental unfitness enters the picture.  

To prove a parent as unfit, you may need to determine the grounds by observing their behavior. For instance, you can consider any past cases of inappropriate behavior to know if there are grounds to declare the other parent as unfit. These can include excessive discipline, emotional abuse, neglect, alcohol or drugs abuse, extreme cruelty to the child, past convictions of sexual offenses, and many more.  

On the other hand, you can also identify some grounds for parental unfitness by examining the child’s environment. Sometimes, a parent may create dangerous circumstances in their home. To know if there are grounds to show that the other parent is unfit, you need to do the following: 

  • Check whether the child is appropriately supervised; 
  • Check if someone else other than the parent has the supervision over the child; 
  • Check if the parent provides the child with adequate food, clothing, and education; 
  • Find out if the parent is friends with abusive persons, criminals, drug abusers, and many more; 
  • Find out if the child has personal space in the parent’s home, and many more.  

As you can see, proving a parent is unfit can be a challenging task. There are many considerations to keep in mind before the court can declare someone unfit. Thus, to help you prove parental unfitness, hiring an experienced family law attorney can be an excellent option. They can establish the grounds to ensure you get primary custody of your child.  

Proving A Parent As Unfit: 3 Things To Know

  •  You Need To Present Evidence To Substantiate Your Claim  

To remove your child from the custody of the other parent, you need to assemble valuable pieces of evidence to strengthen your claim. The court will not declare a parent as unfit without clear and convincing evidence. These pieces of evidence can include: 

  • Medical records of the treatment of the child’s injuries; 
  • Photos and videos showing the parent’s physical and verbal abuse of the child; 
  • Text messages, emails, and other communication indicating the parent’s unfitness; 
  • Criminal records; 
  • Reports on home inspections and visits; 
  • Testimonies from the teachers, therapists, and other people who have witnessed the parent’s inappropriate behavior.  

As enumerated, there are many pieces of evidence to use to substantiate your allegation that the other parent is unfit to take care of your little one. To make sure the evidence will work in your favor, it’s best to work with a good family lawyer who can assist you in collecting evidence. Doing so can increase your chances of winning child custody.   

  • You Need To File A Petition For Child Custody To Initiate Your Case 

You need to file a petition for custody to prove the unfitness of the other parent legally. Whether you want to establish custody for the first time or change the existing custody arrangement, it’s crucial to initiate the said petition to formally raise your allegation in court and achieve a favorable outcome. When this happens, you’ll be allowed to argue that the other parent is unfit to take care of the child’s well-being.   

To get started, you need to contact the court clerk and inquire about the necessary paperwork to be submitted to formalize the petition. Once you’re done filling out the forms, submit several copies to the court clerk and pay the corresponding filing fees. After that, the clerk will notify you by mail of the hearing date.  

Also, when filing for custody, make sure the petition is filed in the country where the child lives. But, to help you with the court process, it’s best to hire an attorney for legal advice and guidance.  


Final Thoughts 

Proving someone as an unfit parent can be a complicated process. The court will not automatically remove the child’s custody based only on the allegation that the other parent is unfit. There are several things to consider before you can successfully show parental unfitness.  

Fortunately, by keeping these things in mind, you can easily demonstrate to the court that the other parent is unfit to have primary custody.