unfit parent

What Characterizes an Unfit Parent

Nobody wants to think of themselves as an unfit parent, but unfortunately, people prove themselves to be unfit parents every day. It would be a wonderful world if every parent was perfect, but unfortunately, they are not. In some situations, some parents are even known as unfit. Judges view parently fitness as an integral part of a child custody decision. Determining what is in the best interests of the child includes looking at the status of the parents. If one parent is more stable than the other, judges can decide to award primary custody to that parent. In custody battles, parental fitness is often a mechanism used in custody battles. Each state has its own set of rules regarding what makes a parent unfit. If a parent is abusive, neglecting, mentally unstable, participating in substance abuse or has been incarcerated: they can be determined unfit.

If you are trying to determine if your spouse or ex-spouse is unfit as a parent there are many steps you should take.


  1. Research your state’s criteria for an unfit parent. Generally, these statutes are located in the family or juvenile codes.
  2. Gather evidence proving that the parent is unfit. This can include audio files, video files, or photographic documentation.
  3. Schedule an appointment with a medical and mental health professional to evaluate your child.
  4. Download the appropriate forms from the appropriate state court website or an online documentation provider. State child custody laws provide strict rules regarding what court holds jurisdiction over these matters.
  5. Complete the forms necessary.
  6. File the forms and any attachments with the appropriate court.
  7. Serve the documents to the other parent.
  8. Attend the hearing. In the hearing, be clear and concise. Provide original copies of the evidence proving your unfit claim. This includes any witness testimony, school, and medical records.
  9. Participate in the court-ordered child custody evaluation, if necessary.
  10. Attend the hearing for the Judge’s ruling.

If you are going through something as tough as this, you need Tammy-Karas-Griggs on your side. Tammy Karas-Griggs cares about the safety of your family and will be on your side every step of the way. Learn more about Tammy Karas-Grigg’s experience with custody here.

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