The term “unfit parent” is thrown around a lot, and is interpreted to mean different things depending on the context of its use, and the arena in which it is said. In the realm of family court, many misunderstand this to imply that the parent is abusive, and while that is one common aspect seen in parents who are unsuited to be raising kids, it is not the only way a parent can be considered unfit. 

A parent could go their entire life without physically striking or emotionally harming their child, but if they begin to start abusing alcohol, then it becomes clear why the term “unfit parent” was coined. Being a parent comes with a plethora of responsibilities, and not being able to fulfill them due to troubles in one’s own personal life has historically been an impactful factor in custody arrangements, such as a change in visitation or the primary custody. Sometimes, the parent’s struggles and issues can reach such a level that the court does not feel it is safe to have the child be in contact with that parent at all, and all parental rights are removed.

         The court, when determining custody, has a hierarchy of considerations, and at the top of that list is the consideration of “what is in the best interest of the child?”, and sometimes it requires them to step in and intervene on the relationship between parent and child. If the parent is a danger to themselves due to careless behavior, abuse of drugs or alcohol, or expose the child to people or activities that endanger their well-being, it may truly be in the best interest of that child if they are separated from this person. Revoking visitation rights is not an easy choice for the court to make, as the best case would be for the child to develop and foster a healthy relationship with both parents. 

If you truly believe that your child’s other parent is unfit, your best chance is to start collecting evidence to present to the court. This could be video’s of the parent engaging with the child in an inappropriate way, presenting a criminal file of the other parent, written correspondences, the point is to paint the picture for the court of what this parent is like outside the courtroom, and prove that the way they engage with the child and how they choose to live makes them unfit to serve as a parental guardian for your shared child.