One of the most heated battles in a family courtroom is when the custody of a child hangs in the balance. However, when custody is given to one parent, it doesn’t mean that there will not need to be modifications in the future. Everyone heads down different paths in life, and there may come a time where one parent is unfit to care for the child. The unfit nature may cause a great deal of angst when it comes to visits and a co-parenting schedule.
It’s illegal to take matters into your own hands in the state of Texas. You cannot deny visits without an order as this becomes contempt of court. You must be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the other party is unfit. While it seems easy, it may be harder than you would think.
Proving A Parent Unfit
Before you embark on a journey to have your custody papers altered or to establish custody, you need the help of an experienced attorney. Justin M. Jackson has ample knowledge and experience helping with family law matters such as these. An attorney can guide you and handle the stressors of the legal process.
Once you have legal counsel, you need proof to file with the court documents. Start with police reports, written witness statements, and any documentation that proves they are unfit. The court calls these documents credible evidence. Do you have reports from a DUI with or without the child in the car? Have they lost their job due to drug or alcohol use? Do they have unsavory associations that have proved troublesome? Anything that you can possibly get to help prove your case is essential. The burden of proof rests in your hands.
The court will look for sexual offenses, violent acts, excessive methods of discipline, emotional abuse and a history of drugs or alcohol. Sticks to concrete facts and don’t mess with hearsay as it will be ruled irrelevant.
Sometimes the parent may not have an issue with their behaviors, but the environment the child lives in is lackluster. The court will want to know if the child is properly supervised, if the parent is leaving the child continuously with someone else, the child is not receiving adequate clothing, education, or food, and the parent has unsavory friends. The parent may not be guilty of doing drugs or alcohol, but if they hang with criminals, gang members, or have other abusive persons near the children, then it’s a cause for concern. Gather any emails, texts, social media pages, and anything you need to ensure you can prove associations.
Let A Legal Professional Handle the Job
When the matter is so delicate as that involving a child’s life and future, leave it to the professionals. Going to court without an attorney can be a challenge when you are dealing with such a severe issue. You want to ensure that you have a good lawyer, like Justin M. Jackson, on your side. Whether you need a divorce and custody plan, to alter a custody agreement or trouble with contempt charges, call today for a consultation.