How to Prove a Parent is Unfit in a Child Custody Case

Proving a parent is unfit in a child custody case is not easy. Here are a few examples of how to gather evidence when dealing with substance abuse, child abuse or child neglect. https://commandthecourtroom

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If you are seeking sole custody of your child one way to do this is to prove that the other parent is unfit. Proving the unfitness of a parent is not always easy to do. In my practice, I have been able to prove unfitness of a parent by proving evidence of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, alcoholism, etc.

This includes both illegal drugs and prescription drugs. If the other parent has a history of drug abuse for a significant number of years this should be brought before the court. Also important is whether or not they are currently in a drug or alcohol treatment program. Have they been through treatment or rehab but continue to relapse?

However, they don’t have to have a drug or alcohol problem for a number of years. If you can prove that there is drug or alcohol abuse going on presently this is also taken into consideration.

There are things you can do to help prove drug abuse in a custody case:

1. Request ongoing court-ordered drug tests in your custody case.
A failed drug test in a custody case can be a good indication of drug addiction in the parent.

2. Be required to get a drug screening and be evaluated for a drug treatment program at the treatment center. This involves being interviewed and assessed on how significant substance abuse is. The center can then recommend a treatment protocol to follow. If the other parent fails to follow the treatment program this is very good for your case.

Another Way to Show that a parent is unfit is to show evidence of child abuse or child neglect. Allegations of child abuse are very serious, so you must be prepared to back it up with proof. Abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse

Some examples of child neglect can be not providing meals when they should, skipping meals,, not monitoring the child doing homework, missing school, being left alone at the house, if they go to school tired or dirty, or without lunches, etc. If you can show a pattern of neglect it can show the parent is neglectful and should not have custody or parenting time.

Also, if there is evidence of child abuse such as police reports, criminal conviction, restraining or protection orders they are good pieces of evidence to provide the judge in your custody battle. Now keep in mind that just because the other parent has a substance abuse problem it does not necessarily mean they are unfit.

The judge will look at many factors which are called the ‘Best Interest of the Child’ factors which by law the court has to consider all as a whole when making a decision in a custody case. So I would not hang my hat on just this one factor. It might be that the judge not give you sole custody but reduce the parenting time of the other parent.

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💼Wendy Hernandez is a family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ and founder of Command the Courtroom which teaches you how to handle yourself in court and achieve the best outcome when representing yourself in your divorce or child custody case.

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*This video recording is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as the rendering of legal advice. The viewing of this recording does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only formed when you have signed an engagement agreement. We cannot guarantee results. Past results do not guarantee future results. Consult with a licensed attorney for information regarding the specifics of your case.

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Should a Boyfriend or Girlfriend Testify at Child Custody Trial?

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What you need to know if you are considering having a boyfriend or girlfriend testify as a character witness at your child custody trial.

The first thing I would tell you to do is download my Best Interest of the Child Checklist by going to

http://www.commandthecourtroom.com.

On that checklist one of the factors is “What type of relationship does that child have with other important people in his or her life?”
In my mind, a boyfriend or girlfriend who is a long term partner is a very important character witness and it is my practice to have a boyfriend or girlfriend testify if they have been around for a while or they are expected to be around as a partner, fiancée or future spouse. Having said that, there are some judges who don’t care about hearing from boyfriends or girlfriends. In fact, in the last week and a half I just had a judge tell me that he thought my client’s fiancée was irrelevant to the case and that he thought the most important relationship was between the parent and the child.

In another case I had the judge went so far as to forbid my client to have a ‘significant other’ around during his parenting time with his son. So it really boils down to the judge you have in your case and his or her viewpoints. But it is important to remember to address all of the best interest factors and one of those factors is ‘significant relationships in the life of the child’.

So to Jennifer or anyone else out there who is considering testifying on behalf of your boyfriend or girlfriend in their custody case, you both need to ask yourselves these questions,

– What types of activities does the child and boyfriend or girlfriend do together?
– Do they go to the Mall?
– Do they do arts and crafts?
– How does your child feel about the boyfriend and girlfriend?
– What expressions of affection does the child use about the boyfriend or girlfriend?
– Does the child want to be around boyfriend or girlfriend when the parent is not around?

These are the things the boyfriend or girlfriend will be expected to be asked at the custody court hearing.

So the next point is ‘Always do your research on the judge’ so that you will know their viewpoints are on ‘significant others’ .There are some forums on sitting judges that you can explore.

Wendy Hernandez is a family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ and founder of Command the Courtroom which teaches you how to handle yourself in court and achieve the best outcome when representing yourself in your divorce or child custody case.

Download my FREE ‘Child’s Best Interest Checklist’ at http://www.commandthecourtroom.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/commandthecourtroom
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Child Custody After Divorce In India | Best Child Custody Lawyers In Hyderabad | Sai Krishna Azad

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Surrogacy Law Explained by Expert in Children Law

Senior Family Law Solicitor Cara Nuttall explains the UK and international laws on surrogacy.
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Custody and Coronavirus (Answers to Your Urgent Questions)

Coronavirus is affecting all of us and things are changing every day. This includes custody arrangements and co-parenting with an ex. Now the kids are out of school for at least the next several weeks, what should you do about making changes to the parenting plan? How about child care when the kids are out of school? Or playdates? I cover all this and more in this very important video.
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Don't Make This Mistake in Child Custody

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In this video I talk about what happens if you choose to simply do nothing in your custody case.

The short answer is, if you don’t do anything in your case it’s not going to be pretty. There are probably a couple of things that can happen.

The first thing that can happen is if someone has filed a petition against you and their asking for a specific result and you haven’t responded, or you haven’t made an appearance in that case, you haven’t responded to discovery requests, you’re not showing up for hearings. The likely result is that the judge is going to enter a judgement against you. In some states this is called a Default Judgement.

In a case where you are not doing anything, the other party is probably going to get everything that he or she wants. I have not had this happen in a number of years, but there have been a couple of times where the other party does nothing and what ends up transpiring is me and my client go to a hearing. A judge takes testimony and my client makes requests about whatever he or she is asking for and the judge grants those requests.

The second thing that could happen if you do nothing in your case is potentially be found in contempt of court. If there are court orders in place where the judge is telling you to do X.Y and Z and you ignore those orders, the judge is going to look at it as you are thumbing your nose up at the court.

And the judge could sanction depending on whatever it is that you are not or should be doing. The judge could order you to pay a financial penalty or put in jail. The judge could take away time between you and your kids. So there are a lot of things the judge could do.

I wanted to cover this topic because a few weeks ago a potential client came into my office and she had had a case filed against her months ago. The case was the other parent was seeking to modify existing custody arrangement and parenting time arrangement. And although the parties had never been to court before, they had been making decisions about their child together and in fact the child was spending half the time with the potential client..the mother.

But in the petition that her ex was filing was asking for full decision making and he was asking that the child spend all of the time except for every other weekend with him. So because this potential client hadn’t responded, she was on the verge of getting a default judgement against her.

And this was something that was clearly not in the best interest of the child. So I scrambled and tried to help her do damage control. We have yet to find out if we have done that. I hate to see anyone in that position especially when they are actively involved in their child’s life. Especially when their child loves them and needs them.
And especially when it’s in the best interest of the child for both parents to be involved.

I know this process is scary and a lot of people kind of want to bury their head in the sand and not think about it because it stresses them out too much. Please don’t do that. I’m begging you. Don’t do nothing in your case!

Wendy Hernandez is a family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ and founder of Command the Courtroom which teaches you how to handle yourself in court and achieve the best outcome when representing yourself in your divorce or child custody case.

Download my FREE ‘Child’s Best Interest Checklist’ and other goodies at http://www.commandthecourtroom.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/commandthecourtroom
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My Law Firm: http://www.hernandezfirm.com #custody #custodybattle #childcustody #custodyrights #custodycourt #custodycases #custodylawyers
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Utah Mom Could Lose Custody of Kids Because of THC in Her System, Although She is Legal Medical Mari

A Salt Lake City mother says she feels like she is being persecuted for following the law, and she may lose custody of her kids.

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Winning a Child Custody Relocation Case is Very Difficult

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Relocation cases are some of the most difficult cases that judges have to decide in a child custody case.*

Please read the disclaimer below:

*This video recording is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as the rendering of legal advice. The viewing of this recording does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only formed when you have signed an engagement agreement. We cannot guarantee results. Past results do not guarantee future results. Consult with a licensed attorney for information regarding the specifics of your case.

Judges have told me in these type of cases there is a clear winner and a clear loser. If the judge rules that the child can relocate with a parent then that parent ‘wins’ and the other parent loses and vice versa.

The burden of proof is on the person seeking to have the children relocate with them. That means that they have to prove to the judge that relocating the child is in the child’s best interest. Depending on where you live there is a list of factors, on top of the normal ‘Child’s Best Interest Factors’ that the judge needs to look at to decide whether relocation is in the child’s best interest.

So where ever you live, you need to do relocation research and find out what the relocation laws are in your state. You need to know each and every factor the judge is going to look at because you have to adjust each and every one of them.

In your relocation hearing , If a parent wants to relocate then the judge is going to want to know whether there is still going to be the opportunity for the parent who’s left behind to have a substantial and continuing relationship with the children, especially if the parent who is being left behind has had a lot of involvement and bonding relationship with the kids.

The fact is, if you are moving your child out of state, the child will be thousands if not more miles away then that relationship, once the child moves, will never be the same. That parent will no longer have the ongoing or weekly visitation that they had before. The parent for example won’t be able to attend parent/teacher conferences, be involved in their child’s extra-curricular activities. It is really going to affect the level of that parent’s participation in their child’s lives.

If you’re the parent seeking to relocate with the children you are going to have to show the judge how that quality of relationship that the other parent shares with the children can continue. I will say that in a lot of my relocation cases where I am representing the parent that is wanting to move with the children, I encourage them to tell the other parent that they can have every single break, that they can have all or most of the summer…all the times that the children are not in school, they can have.

In a lot of cases, that does increase the chances for the parent that wants to relocate, however in some cases, it has not made a difference. The reason is because the parent who wants to move has not proven to the judge’s satisfaction that moving is in the best interest of the child.

If you are the parent wanting to relocate it is not impossible. I’ve had a lot of judges grant the relocation in spit of the other parent’s objections. You just have to really do your research in your state for the factors the judge is going to be looking at. Get your evidence ready and your ducks in a row and be ready to present it.

If you are the parent who is opposing the relocation of your child, same advice for you. Look at the relocation factors in your state or jurisdiction. You will need to spin those in a way that the judge will have no choice but to find that relocation is not in the best interest of the children.

Wendy Hernandez is a family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ and founder of Command the Courtroom which teaches you how to handle yourself in court and achieve the best outcome when representing yourself in your divorce or child custody case.

Download my FREE ‘Child’s Best Interest Checklist’ at http://www.commandthecourtroom.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/commandthecourtroom
Web: http://www.commandthecourtroom.com
My Law Firm: http://www.hernandezfirm.com
Please read the disclaimer below:

This video recording is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as the rendering of legal advice. The viewing of this recording does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only formed when you have signed an engagement agreement. We cannot guarantee results. Past results do not guarantee future results. Consult with a licensed attorney for information regarding the specifics of your case. #custody #custodybattle #childcustody #custodyrights #custodycourt #custodycases #custodylawyers
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💬Get INSTANT access to your Best Interest Checklist by chatting with Wendy here: https://m.me/commandthecourtroom?ref=w6475893
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Some things one will need to present to a judge if one is thinking about relocations in a child custody case.*

Please read the Disclaimer below:

*This video recording is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as the rendering of legal advice. The viewing of this recording does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only formed when you have signed an engagement agreement. We cannot guarantee results. Past results do not guarantee future results. Consult with a licensed attorney for information regarding the specifics of your case.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people who have the issue of relocation in their child custody case. Either they want to move out of state, city, town, country with their child or they are the parent who do not want their child to move out of state, city, etc.

There are many cases when a parent a wants to be able to relocate the child and many times the other parent is fighting against the other parent relocating the child.

Step 1: You always start with the best interest factors. So wherever you are located go to your States statutes and the child custody factors also known as the best interest factors for your state. I talk about the best interest factors in a lot of my videos.

If you want to download a free list of the child best interest factors go to my website http://commandthecourtroom.com and you can get a checklist of all of the best interest factors that the judge will look at. You have to be prepared to show in court how those best interest factors apply in your relocation case.

But what is different about relocation cases is that there are other factors above the Best interest factors that you have to address with the judge.

I am going to read to you some examples of questions that the judge is going to want answers to before he or she decides your relocation case. These may vary depending on what State you live in but this will be good start for you.

You have to talk to the judge about the potential advantages of the move and how you think it will improve the quality of life for the child. You have to talk about your motivation in asking that the court allow you to relocate with your child. And if you are the parent who is opposing the relocation of the child you have to show the judge what your motivation is in your opposition.

One thing you will need to show is what is the parenting time going to look like if this relocation is granted. Is the parent whose child is moving away going to be able to have parenting time and what is it going to look like. What is the transportation cost going to be for the parent who is going to have to travel to see the child? How is that cost going to be split and is it even going to be feasible for the other parent who will have to travel to see the child.

The judge will look at the impact that the move will make on the childs quality of life. The mental and physical toll it might take, what does the child actually want. What are the living conditions going to be? The judge will also look at the strength of the ties the child has currently with their school, friends, activ

For example if I have a client who wants to move their children I will ask them to get information about the children’s new school, the rating of the school, how far is the school going to be from where that parent is living. I want to know what type of salary the parent is going to be making in the new location. So these are the type of questions that I am going to be asking and what the judge will want to know.

Wendy Hernandez is founder of Command the Courtroom and a family law attorney practicing in Phoenix, AZ.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/commandthecourtroom
Law Firm Website: http://www.hernandezfirm.com
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