I know somebody that got this, or my friend got this in their divorce, so I want the same thing, can this happen?

 Every case is unique and there are different Judges, different parties, different set of facts and it is not something that is standardized where all the results automatically happen at the same time. There are factors that you may or may not be aware of and different ways that the Judges or the Courts look at things. So just because it happened to a friend or someone you know does not mean the same fact pattern either good or bad will be the same in your situation, as every case is fluid and has a lot of different factors that are looked at and may not be looked at the same in every case.

What is an Unfit Parent?

In DCF cases, custody cases, guardianship cases, adoption cases, divorce matters there is a lot of talk about what a “unfit” parent is.  It can mean different things legally versus what people might think it means.  When DCF is involved that is where the standard of being an unfit parent is. If there is a Care & Protection or a Guardianship that might be unfit, unavailable or unable, but most times in most Divorce cases it is hard to rise to the level of being unfit parent.  It can occur.

An unfit parent that the Court deems to be an unfit would not only lose parenting or visitation time but can also lose parenting rights; including termination of parental rights and adoption; temporary suspension in a guardianship case or a adjudication in a Care & Protection matter.  It needs to be significant and the idea is that a parent is not to be deprived of custody of his/her child in the absence of finding that he/she is unfit.

Under 210 Section 3c the determination of what an unfit parent is, is if the parent abused or neglected the child or another immediate family member. There are variety of other factors; including whether the parent can provide proper care for the child; whether the child has formed a strong positive bond with his/her substitute caretaker, that cannot be broken without harm to the child; the child willfully failed to visit the child; the parent is incarcerated and cannot provide a home for the child; prior pattern of neglect, misconduct or assault resulting in seriously bodily injury to the child; and a variety of other factors that are listed in that chapter.