What constitutes an unfit parent?
Credit:Annie OtzenMomentGetty Images
Q:

What constitutes an unfit parent?

A:

Quick Answer

According to USLegal, the criteria that determines an unfit parent varies by state. In general, the parent in question is legally unable to retain parental rights due to abuse, negligence or an inability to accept the responsibility of a dependent minor (as in the case of mental instability).

 Know More

Full Answer

Minella Law Group states that the deciding of custody is a direct effect of a fitness hearing or a child custody evaluation. For example, California courts determine fitness, and thereby custody, by evaluating 10 areas of parental behavior both current and past. These are:

  • Age-appropriate limitations wherein the parent only allows activities that are in context with the child's age
  • The parent's ability to recognize the child's needs and respond in an appropriate and timely fashion
  • The parent's history of providing care for the child
  • The parent's history of cooperating with the child's other parent to provide appropriate care
  • The parent's history of child abuse with this child or other children
  • The parent's physically or emotionally abusive behavior towards the other parent particularly in front of the child
  • The use of illegal drugs or the abuse of alcohol or prescriptions drugs
  • The parent's social adjustment
  • The child's comfort and feelings towards the parent

USLegal explains that some U.S. states require fitness hearings and a period of time in which the parent is allowed to correct the problem prior to terminating parental rights. Abandonment, whether in terms of support or the actual physical abandonment of a child, and incarceration can be cause for finding a parent unfit.

Learn more about Parenting

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are 20 characteristics of a good parent?

    A:

    A list of twenty characteristics of a good parent could begin with these three: unconditional love, boundless patience and the ability to set boundaries. These characteristics are the foundation for good parenting, and all other qualities necessary to raise a confident, empathetic person come from them.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can a parent date when she has older children?

    A:

    Dating as a parent with grown or older children raises an entirely different host of concerns than dating with younger children does. According to Match.com, a leading online dating website, it's important for dating parents to reach out to their children, assure them that they're being cautious in the dating world, ask for their advice and let their children know that, above all, they are happy.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What questions should a prospective nanny ask the family?

    A:

    When interviewing for a nanny job, it is important to ask the family questions about hours, pay, living arrangements, children, discipline, the children's interests and the parent's expectations. These questions allow the nanny to show she wants to do the best job possible, but they also allow her to consider whether the job and family will be a good fit for her.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is it like to be an African parent in 2006 and 2056?

    A:

    Being an African parent in 2056 is expected to be completely different from 2006 because of numerous socio-cultural advancements and evolutions. As the two years are half a century apart, transformations in technology will likely be witnessed. Part of the difference stems from the fact that children will have access to advanced gadgetry and social norms that may deem them almost unmanageable.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore