When a couple goes through a divorce, they will often have to address the matter of custody. In the vast majority of cases, both parents are totally capable of doing what is in the best interests of the child and will often be granted joint custody. Even in joint custody cases, one parent often has slightly more parenting time than the other, simply because scheduling exact 50/50 custody can be difficult. In some situations, however, the court may deem one parent “unfit” to take care of the child and will award sole custody to the other parent. Some of the reasons that a court may determine a parent “unfit” to have custody include a having history of criminal activity, substance abuse issues, having a history of domestic violence, or simply being too ill to take care of a child. The court does not grant a sole custody award lightly and will take a lot of factors into consideration when weighing this decision.
Generally, the courts believe that children should be able to have a meaningful relationship with both of his or her parents. However, when one of the parents is deemed “unfit,” their chances of continuing to build that bond are significantly diminished. Some parents may be eligible to request visitation rights.
If you have questions regarding custody, contact our firm today.
If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.