How Do You Know When A Parent Is Fit Or Unfit?

Proof of Parenting

                An unfortunate part of the family legal process is having to prove to the judge that the other parent is not a good person for your child to be around. The point in family court is not to necessarily bad mouth or point fingers at your ex but if you’re child isn’t well off with that parent and you are under the impression that they would do better with you, then it might become necessary to prove to the judge that your ex is unfit to have the kids. If this is what you need to do there are necessary steps to take and factors that you need to take into account in order to win custody of your children. Here are a couple things to keep in mind if this is the route that you’re taking:

  • Environment. What’s their living situation like? Nine times out of ten the judge will base his decision on this. If your ex is petitioning the court for full custody, and you’re trying to prove that this is the opposite of what needs to happen, the judge needs to see, if this is indeed the case, that their house is unsafe or unhealthy for the child to be around. Aside from health risks from unclean environments, stressful environments can also be put into this category. If your ex’s new boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t a good person for your child to be around, make this the cornerstone of your argument and have proof to back it up. Hearsay does not hold up in court.
  • Involvement. Being an involved parent not only strengthens the bonds between a parent and their child but it also makes parents look good in court. If both you and your ex are seeking full custody of your child, bringing up how involved you are in their life is a great argument to bring to the table. Things like going to their school meetings and participating in activities after school or on weekends are things that make you look good if the other parent does not do these kinds of things. Obviously it’s different if your ex isn’t involved because they are working long hours to provide for the child; context is important in any situation like this.

As a parent your job is to do what’s best for your child, bottom line. In custody battles in which both parents want the same thing, if you believe that you’re the better parent to have the child placed with, make sure it’s the right decision. It can be overwhelming and frustrating to have the other parent asking for full custody when you know and have proof that their personal lives do not support having a child around. Your job is to show this to the judge in a way that it makes sense to them and they can clearly see the truth from the facts.

www.aboutthechildren.org

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Posted in Child Custody, Child Visitation, Children, Courtroom Preparation, Family, Family Court, Parenting Plans
9 comments on “How Do You Know When A Parent Is Fit Or Unfit?
  1. kdwright416 says:

    This actually clears so much up for me. My husbands ex wife signed over full custody of their 7 year old son last year. She gets him every other weekend (she lives a state away, we meet in the middle) but RARELY actually gets him on her weekends….normally her parents (who live in the next county from us) get him. A few weeks ago when my husband brought up going back for child support she threatened to take him back to court to get custody back. Then she changed it to wanting to have him once he starts middle school. (I know, it’s confusing!) My brain says she would have a hard time getting him from us, but my heart is crying….the thought of losing him kills me.

    • If your husband is the primary care giver, he should be receiving child support, regardless of what threats she comes up with. As long as he actually has a signed court order stating that he has primary custody by a judge, he can request for child support. Simply signing a form and getting it notarized is not the same as a custody order, just wanted to clarify that.
      You and your husband think about how you want to move forward. Just know, in most cases when a parent is the primary care giver they are entitled to child support from the other parent through their state.

      • kdwright416 says:

        Forgive me, I meant to clarify. My husband has sole physical custody and joint legal through the state of Virginia. At the time of the court proceedings my husband opted out of child support but it’s still in the order that he can request it. She is just threatening now that she will sue him for sole custody if he tries to get child support from her.

      • She can threaten or even file a request for a modification. However, in most cases, if a child has been established at the primary caregivers residence for several years, they are doing well in school, and being well taken care of, a judge usually will not entertain a change in residence. If he wants child support, he can contact his local child support agency.

  2. The more conflict the more profits lawyers and the industry makes, the industry makes every effort to fuel conflict, peaceful resolution is not profitable.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My son currently has full physical and sole legal custody of my grand daughter, the mother has little to no involvement and is trying to say my son has mental illness to gain full custody. Will this hold up in court?

    • In any situation like this, it’s important to maintain a calm outlook on the situation. Often times, people want to stir up the pot and get you angry for the purposes of potentially making you look bad in court. Every case is going to be different and the outcome of the court proceedings depends entirely on what is written down and has concrete evidence to back it up. Keep in mind that the judge is going to make their ruling based on what is in front of them in black and white. If you need assistance preparing the documents you need to file to get your story in front of the judge, please call or e-mail us to speak to a representative to see if you’re qualified. We help over one hundred and fifty families every week with their family legal issues, ask us how we can help you with yours.

      (800) 787-4981

      • Anonymous student says:

        I am currently dealing with a custody case and some advice would be helpful. I am 26 living on my own with reliable transportation and I will be graduating in April. I am seeking full custody due to the situations my child’s mother puts her in. Her previous boyfriend had an assault charge towards his ex girlfriend and the new one has sent text messages threatening me on many occasions. I’ve saved these messages and she pretends to not know who he is although he has called me to argue about her while she was there. I am currently having a restraining order filed against him so that he can’t be near my child. She was also drunk during her pregnancy and ended up having her stomach pumped to get the alcohol out. Luckily my child was safe. What is the best course of action in proving that I am the better fit parent for my daughter. I am involved every chance I get with my child and really would feel safer having her with me.

      • Hello and thanks for writing to us about your custody issue. This is an issue that all young parents can benefit from learning about. I want to start off by saying that we can’t give you legal advice about this issue. What we do is prepare court documents for parents to file for situations such as yours. If you’re concerned for the safety of your child due to the environment they’re in with the mother, the best way to enforce something in family law is to get a court order signed by a judge that dictates some kind of parenting schedule, whether it be custody or visitation. Emails, text messages and voice mail records are excellent things to back up your claims as well and can give you an edge in the court room. Please give us a call to talk to a staff member about how we can help you go to court over a custody issue like yours. Thank you for writing to us. We look forward to assisting you with your family court issue.

        (800) 787-4981

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