Custody disputes can be daunting during the divorce or separation, especially when each wants to win full custody of the child. However, in making a custody ruling, the court will always focus on the best interest of the child.
One such instance when custody may go solely to one parent is when the other parent is unfit for custody. But what exactly does it mean to be unfit for custody?
Here are three instances when a parent can be declared unfit for custody:
When there is child abuse or neglect
A parent who abuses or neglects their child can be declared unfit for custody. If you suspect abuse or neglect by the other parent, it is important that you report the matter to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) as soon as possible.
A custody evaluator will then review the claims and make appropriate recommendations to the TDFPS. Depending on the nature of abuse or neglect, the parent in question may lose their custody and parental rights. They may also face criminal charges for their actions.
When there is domestic violence
A history of domestic violence can also cost a parent their custody rights. In reviewing the matter, the court will take into account the frequency of violence and its potential impact on the child. If there was a restraining order against the violent parent, be sure to produce it too when litigating the matter.
When the parent is mentally ill
A parent who has been diagnosed with a serious psychiatric condition may pose a serious risk to the child’s overall wellbeing. Circumstances surrounding the mental condition as well as the effort the parent in question is making to recover can influence the court’s decision. A parent may regain custody of the child if they successfully control their condition.
The court takes the best interest of the child very seriously when determining and modifying custody. Find out how you can protect your child’s wellbeing if you believe the other parent is unfit for custody.