When you are getting divorced as a parent, it is normal to feel that you are the ideal person to care for your children. At the same time, your co-parent may also feel they are the parent that should get primary custody.
Child custody battles are nothing new. They are unpleasant, to put it mildly, but eventually, parents or a judge find a solution that meets the needs of the children. However, allegations that one parent may be unfit can complicate custody matters further.
What can make a parent unfit?
There is no one-size-fits-all definition of an unfit parent. If a parent cannot provide the child with appropriate care, support and guidance, a court may declare them unfit. Since this definition of an unfit parent is quite broad, we will look at some examples of problems that could qualify:
- Mental health issues: A parent suffering from mental health may have difficulty caring for their children, especially without treatment.
- Substance abuse: A parent battling substance abuse or alcoholism may not be capable of parenting their kids adequately.
- Violent past: A parent with a background of violent behaviors may need treatment before they are ready to care for their kids without supervision.
- Child neglect or abuse: A parent with a history of child abuse or neglect will likely face many challenges in proving their fitness as a parent.
Many Leesburg, Virginia, parents worried about the fitness of their co-parent try to solve the problem by removing the child from the state or country. We caution against this approach as it could impact your custody rights even more.
If you have concerns about the fitness of your co-parent or if your co-parent alleges that you are unfit, you should explore your legal options. Leaving these matters unaddressed may put your child custody at risk as well as the wellbeing of your kids.