By steppsulliva, In Child Custody, 0 Comments

The Texas legal system defines an unfit parent as a parent whose conduct fails to provide proper guidance, care, or support to their child. To better understand how the state of Texas views an unfit parent, it is necessary to understand how Texas courts determine an unfit parent in the case of a child who may need to be placed with another guardian. 

At Stepp & Sullivan, our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience helping our clients pursue custody or guardianship for minors they believe may be in danger while in the care of an unfit parent. Our experienced legal team can help you understand how Texas courts decide what makes a parent unfit.

What Deems a Parent Unfit in Texas?

Whether going through a custody battle or fighting for guardianship, it is not uncommon for accusations to be thrown around by one or both parties regarding a child’s parents being unfit to care for them. In Texas courts, there are several factors that are used to determine whether or not a parent is considered unfit. These factors include:

Evidence of a Parent’s Failure to Provide Necessary Care

When determining whether a parent should have custody of a child, the courts will require evidence to show that they are unfit. If the evidence shows any form of abuse, whether verbal or physical, or has a criminal history, the parent may be considered unfit. Evidence may include any of the following:

  • Photos
  • Audio recordings
  • Videos
  • Witness testimonies

The courts may also consider drug or alcohol addiction and any domestic violence charges as evidence that a parent is unfit to care for a child. For more information regarding what evidence can be used to prove that a parent is unfit, contact a Texas attorney today.

A Child Social Report

The court will request social research be conducted by experienced officials in order to determine whether a parent is not fit for custody. This report will show the following elements:

  • The relationship the parents have with each other
  • The parenting styles of each parent
  • The employment status of the parents
  • The living conditions the child resides in
  • The child’s educational background
  • The parent’s regular interaction with kids
  • The parent’s scheduling availability

Once the court has reviewed all the necessary evidence, they will determine if a child is currently in the care of an unfit parent and should be removed from the situation. 

What Are the Consequences of Being Deemed an Unfit Parent?

The legal consequences of being an unfit parent in Texas may be the loss of legal and physical custody and possibly loss of visitation rights in some cases as well. Texas law prioritizes the child’s best interests and often believes it is for the best of the child to be raised by their parents. 

With that being said, if both parents are deemed unfit, they may award custody to a guardian instead, like a grandparent or other family member. To understand the full scope of what can occur when a parent is deemed unfit, contact a Texas family lawyer as soon as possible. 

Get Help From a Texas Family Lawyer

The trusted attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan are dedicated to helping clients understand what determines an unfit parent in Texas. We have many years of experience helping Texas residents navigate the court system in regards to who will have custody of a child that was living with an unfit parent. To discuss your next legal steps with a dedicated and trusted attorney, call us today at (713) 677-2635 or complete our contact form

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