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Proving a Parent Unfit for Custody in New York

Proving a Parent Unfit for Custody in New York

As a parent, it is your job to protect your child. If you notice that your child’s other parent is acting dangerously or negligently around them in any capacity, it is in their best interests to not remain in their other parent’s custody. To remove your child from harm's way, you will need to prove to the court that their other parent is “unfit” for child custody.

What Qualifies as an Unfit Parent?

In New York, an unfit parent can be described in multiple ways. An unfit parent can be a parent that struggles with substance abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse. They repeatedly participate in negative and dangerous behaviors like these and more around the child. Additionally, if the parent puts the child in harmful situations, this could be proof of unfitness.

Examples of unfit parenting include:

  • Improperly supervising the child

  • Not providing the child with basic needs

  • The child is subject to dangerous conditions or safety hazards

  • The child’s other parent hangs out with dangerous people like gang members or convicted criminals

How to Prove A Parent Is Unfit

Although a parent may know or have witnessed unfit behavior, it must be proven in order to have legal consequences. In a custody case, a judge must be able to determine whether a parent is unfit based on evidence.

Evidence that could help the court determine the unfitness of a parent may include:

  • Testimony from witnesses

  • Video documentation

  • Medical reports of physical injuries and mental health problems

  • Text messages, voicemails, emails, and social media posts

  • Drug and alcohol testing

  • Criminal records

If you have any doubts that your child is in danger while around their other parent, do not hesitate to share this information with the court. Your child’s safety is the most important thing, so make sure you provide any and all evidence that you have.

After evidence is gathered, paperwork will need to be filed. This is best done with an attorney who can help explain documentation. To serve the paperwork, you will need to legally provide this documentation to the other parent, so they have the opportunity to defend themselves.

Seek Skilled Counsel From a New York Child Custody Attorney Today

There are few disputes more important or emotionally charged as custody agreements. To understand the legal system accurately, hiring a professional attorney with experience is crucial. Our New York child custody attorneys at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC will do everything we can to protect you and your family’s rights and best interests.

For more information on custody issues and help with your case, please contact our firm today at (347) 848-1850.

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