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What is unfit parenting in a Pennsylvania divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2023 | Child Custody

When considering child custody issues, a Pennsylvania family court judge makes decisions with children’s best interests in mind. Often, parents will agree to share custody following a divorce. However, if one parent claims that the other is unfit, the court must determine whether the parent in question has sufficient evidence to substantiate the claim.

Every state has its own child custody guidelines. Most states have similar ways of defining what types of behavior or conditions constitute “unfitness” for custody. A parent who requests sole custody must be able to support the allegations with competent evidence, which may include witness testimonies.

4 issues that may compel a judge to rule that a parent is unfit for child custody

Here are a few reasons why a parent might petition the court for sole child custody based on the other parent’s unfitness:

  • There is evidence that the other parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
  • A medical professional has diagnosed the other parent with a mental illness.
  • The other parent has emotionally or physically abused the children.
  • The children have appeared neglected upon returning from the other parent’s house.

If children haven’t brushed their teeth for days or have been left alone for days or haven’t had food, etc., these are signs of neglect. Any of the issues listed here could demonstrate legitimate cause for a judge to grant one parent sole child custody due to the other parent’s lack of fitness.

Child custody issues can be complex, especially when a parent is concerned about children’ssafety or well-being due to the behavior of the other parent. It is best to seek legal counsel from a Pennsylvania family law attorney before requesting sole custody. An attorney can help a parent craft his or her request and make sure it includes all the necessary details.