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Signs of an unfit parent

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law |

The goal of most child custody cases is to ensure that children receive sufficient time with each parent to maintain those relationships. While this is ideal for many situations, sometimes one parent may be unfit and not eligible for custody.

If you have concerns about your child’s other parent, you should understand the most common reasons for unfit parent declarations.


A parent with a history of addiction and substance abuse may pose safety concerns for the child. However, if the parent has been sober for some time, that can weigh in their favor. If you have reason to believe that the parent in question relapsed, consider hiring a private investigator or asking the court for drug testing.

Mental illness

Untreated or poorly managed mental illness poses unique challenges. If mental illness is properly managed with therapy and medication, courts are usually reluctant to intervene. However, a parent with a history of skipping medication or not attending therapy is cause for concern and may lead to an unfit designation.


Documented histories of abuse, including doctor’s reports, emergency room records and police reports can prove an unfit parent case. Adults who abuse their partners may also abuse their children, so be open about the incidents and provide any records you have.

These are just a few situations where you may have a child’s parent deemed unfit. Any situation that puts your child’s safety and well-being at risk is cause for concern. Talk with your children about their visitation time and stay attentive to any potential signs of trouble.