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Child Custody Attorney in Wheat Ridge | What is an Unfit Parent?

| Dec 23, 2019 | Child Custody |

Learn more about why someone can be deemed an unfit parent and how that term can be used in court.

In Wheat Ridge and Jefferson County, when one parent wants full custody of the children, they may claim that the other parent is an unfit parent. It is more than just making claims against another parent. It even takes more than just presenting some evidence to the court. There are a number of issues the court must consider before determining if a parent is unfit.

How the Court Determines If a Parent is Unfit in Arvada and Golden

A parent can be declared unfit if:

  • They cannot meet the child’s needs; or
  • They have subjected the child to physical or emotional abuse.

But, that doesn’t mean one parent can just make a claim and they court will rule in their favor. In Colorado, there is a very high threshold to be met before a parent can be deemed unfit. Some of the factors the court will consider includes:

  • Parental neglect;
  • Physical abuse of the children;
  • Sexual Abuse of the child;
  • Injuries the child has sustained;
  • Parental history of violence;
  • Any previous claims of neglect or abuse;
  • Parental substance use / abuse;
  • The mental state / mental illnesses of the parent.

Presenting Evidence that a Parent is Unfit in Jefferson County

When one parent makes a claim that the other is unfit, they will need to present evidence to support that claim. The Jefferson County Court will review that evidence and also may request additional information. The judge may order a psychological evaluation of the parent and can ask for additional testimony from others who may have insight into the parent / child relationship. The parent who is making the allegation may present:

  • Documentation – like police reports, criminal history, drug tests, medical records, or any other documents (even things from a long time ago);
  • Witnesses – anyone who can support the claim, like those who witnessed an abusive event or who the child confided in, like a psychologist or therapist

If you are being accused of being an unfit parent, or if you are looking to protect your children from an unfit parent, contact the best child custody attorneys from the Pearman Law Firm at 720-259-9528 for a free initial phone consultation.

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