As in most jurisdictions, determining whether a parent is unfit in Oklahoma involves considering a range of factors related to the parent’s behavior, conduct, and ability to care for their child. A family court will typically make this determination based on evidence presented during legal proceedings, often as part of child custody or termination of parental rights cases. The determination of parental unfitness is taken seriously and is based on the best interests of the child.
Things Tending To Show an Unfit Parent in Oklahoma
- Abuse or Neglect: Evidence of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect of the child can lead to a determination of unfitness.
- Substance Abuse: If a parent’s substance abuse interferes with their ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child, it can be a factor in determining unfitness.
- Criminal Behavior: Certain criminal behaviors, especially those that endanger the child’s well-being, can contribute to a finding of unfitness. This might include convictions for violent crimes, drug offenses, or crimes against children.
- Failure to Provide: If a parent consistently fails to provide for the child’s basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, their fitness as a parent could be questioned.
- Mental Health Issues: Severe untreated mental health issues that impact a parent’s ability to care for their child might be considered when determining unfitness.
- Abandonment: If a parent has abandoned the child or shown a prolonged lack of interest or involvement, it can be a factor in considering unfitness.
- Domestic Violence: If there’s evidence of domestic violence within the household that poses a risk to the child, it can impact the parent’s fitness.
Who Decides If a Parent is Unfit
The determination of parental unfitness is typically made by a court, often as part of child custody or termination of parental rights proceedings. The court will consider evidence presented by both parties and may also consider input from child protective services, expert witnesses, and any relevant reports or evaluations.
It’s important to note that the court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child. Before any determination of unfitness is made, there should be due process, which includes the opportunity for the accused parent to present their side of the story and provide evidence to counter the allegations. If you’re involved in a situation where parental fitness is being questioned, it’s essential to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights
What’s The Impact of Finding a Parent Unfit.
Most times the issue of a parents fitness is decided in divorce, custody and visitation cases. If a parent is unfit that parent will not be awarded either joint or full custody of their children. Many times a parent will ask the court for this type of finding as a tool to protect their children. If the other parent is a domestic abuser with a known drug and alcohol history of abuse or mental illness it will behoove a parent to protect their child from the unfit parent. For a parent with knowledge that the other parent is unfit they are required to protect their child from danger. Failing to protect can be seen itself as parental unfitness.
Tulsa Child Custody Attorneys Near You
If you are facing custody and visitation issues you know how hard a family law case can be. Our Tulsa custody lawyers have helped thousands of families in Oklahoma get through difficult cases like yours. Although each case is unique, custody cases involving unfitness are especially distinctive. This type of case involves gathering and presenting particularly sensitive facts and evidence. Get a free consultation today with one of our Tulsa, Oklahoma child custody attorneys at Kania Law Office. Call 918.743.2233 or click this link to ask a legal question