I have been asked how the court determines if a parent is unfit. A parent may be deemed unfit if:
· there is abusive behavior
· failed to provide proper care for their child
· failed to have regular contact
· has mental problems
· addicted to alcohol and/or drugs
· is or was incarcerated
Parties trying to prove a parent unfit for custody purposes should make sure they get their facts straight. The court often awards sole custody to one parent if the other is deemed unfit. However, if both parents prove to be unfit, the child may be placed in foster care. When a child’s relationship with a parent is severed because that parent is deemed unfit, the child may suffer severe psychological repercussions. The best interest of the child is the determining factor when placing him or her elsewhere.
If a family member is proving to be an unfit parent and you believe the child should be taken away from him or her, I urge you to contact an experienced Orange County Family Law attorney who can discuss what needs to be done and what’s best for the child.