Q:

What factors does a court consider to declare a parent unfit?

A:

Divorcesource.com notes that in Arizona, the court considers the parent's treatment of the child, whether or not the parent engages in substance abuse and his criminal record when determining if a parent is unfit. The court may also take into account the parent's behavior and how it potentially impacts the child's mental and physical well-being. A parent can also be deemed unfit if the child is abandoned or neglected.

The laws determining what factors are considered when deeming a parent unfit for custody may vary slightly by state. DivorceNet.com notes that a parent can be determined unfit for custody in Georgia by abandoning or mistreating a child or by failing to provide a child with basic life necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical treatment and education. The court requires undeniable, clear evidence that a parent is acting in a way that is detrimental to the child for the parent to be deemed unfit.

According to Castronovo & McKinney Family & Divorce Law, in the state of New Jersey, a parent can be deemed unfit by the court if the parent is unable to provide a safe and stable environment. To deem a parent unfit, the court can consider medical records, school records that demonstrate excessive absences, psychological evaluations, police reports and drug and alcohol tests.


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