What is Considered an Unfit Parent in Texas?

Unfit parent, considered unfit parent in Texas

What is Considered an Unfit Parent in Texas?

Bad parents exist. Unfortunately, you may be co-parenting with one of them. In breaking up with your co-parent, concern naturally arises over your children’s welfare. You want the custody arrangement to make the most sense for your children and you want them to be in good hands. You have heard that a parent can be declared unfit by the courts in Texas. What does that mean?

When it comes to custody arrangements, having a family law attorney by your side can not only make the process easier but can help garner a more favorable result. Navarrette Bowen P.C. has a team that is here for you.

Court Standards

When it comes to determining a custody arrangement, family court judges always use the same standard: the best interests of the child. This may seem like a clear and vague standard all in one. Even in a case where the parents agree on the custody arrangement they want, a judge will review it through that lens before signing off on it as final.

There are a variety of factors to consider when determining the best interests of the child, including:

  • Location of each parent
  • The life the child has already built regarding school, socially, and activities
  • The financial situation of each parent
  • The child’s preference, if they are old enough
  • The habits and lifestyle of each parent
  • The relationship between the parent and child

What Makes A Parent Unfit?

Looking at those final factors is where a parent runs the risk of being deemed unfit. There are two major triggers that will almost automatically determine a parent unfit for custody: abuse and neglect. If there is any history of domestic violence, a parent will not get physical custody.

Outside of abuse and neglect, courts will look at a few things, including:

  • A history of drugs or alcohol
  • Sexual offenses
  • Emotional abuse
  • Unfit living conditions
  • Unstable environments

The court considers the evidence presented against a parent. Evidence can be submitted in the form of:

  • Police reports
  • Phone logs
  • Text messages
  • Emails
  • Witness statements

If a parent is deemed unfit for custody, they may still have visitation rights depending on the extremity of what made them unfit. The custody arrangement can also change down the line if the unfit parent turns things around and can show a change of circumstances down the line.

Remember that custody is split into both physical and legal. Legal custody involves the decision-making surrounding important aspects of a child’s life, such as education and healthcare. If things such as abuse and neglect exist, however, giving legal custody to a parent is unlikely as well.

At the end of the day, Texas courts deem parents unfit to raise a child if doing so would significantly affect the child’s physical or emotional health and development.

An Attorney Can Help

If you’re concerned that your co-parent should not have custody of your child, hire an attorney to help. Attorneys can look at your situation and present evidence in the best way possible to protect your children.

Navarrette Bowen P.C. has a team of experienced divorce and custody attorneys. Our office is in downtown Denton. A confidential consultation with us is free. You can come into our office to see us in person or schedule a consultation online. Contact us today.

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Navarrette | Bowen, P.C. | Family Law Attorneys | Denton, TX