No matter the trigger, a divorce is usually a difficult undertaking. When the marriage is over, it is not unusual for ex-partners to fight for the custody of their children. And sometimes, this fight can boil down to questions about a parent’s fitness for custody.
If you have reason to believe the other parent is not fit for custody, you may petition the court for exclusive custody. However, you will not have your way by merely telling the court that your ex is not fit to have custody of your children. You must have a very compelling reason for your request – and proof.
Here are three reasons the court may consider such drastic action against your co-parent:
Do they have a history of child abuse?
No court will look favorably at a parent with a history of abusing their children. If you can successfully prove that your ex has been abusing your children, then justify your plea for custody modification.
Do they have a history of drug and alcohol abuse?
A parent who has struggled with alcohol and substance abuse in the past may be required to prove sustained sobriety and change of behavior to win or maintain custody of their children. A history of relapses can convince the court that the parent in question is unreliable and, thus, unfit for custody.
Do they have mental health issues?
A parent who has an aggressive or unpredictable mental health issue may pose a risk to the children. Before ruling on their suitability for custody, the court may appoint an independent evaluator or refer to any previous treatments as well as other aspects of their mental health.
Child custody after divorce is a big deal. If you believe the other parent is unfit for custody, it is important that you take appropriate steps to seek a custody plan in the best interest of your child.