Most parents in Arizona and throughout the country are fit to raise their children. However, if a parent is deemed to be unfit, he or she could be denied custody or other rights to a son or daughter. In some cases, those rights may be terminated completely, and in the event that both of a child’s parents are seen as unfit, he or she could be adopted by another family.
There are many ways in which a parent could fail to meet the best interests of a child standard. For instance, that individual could abuse, neglect or abandon a son or daughter. Those who fail to maintain a sufficient interest in the child could lose custody or other rights to a child on a temporary or permanent basis. States may also deem a parent to be unfit whenever the facts in a case support such a designation.
It is important to note that parents have the right to dispute any notion that they are not fit to raise their children. While the health and safety of the child is the top priority, the law puts an emphasis on a parent’s ability to be in a child’s life. Therefore, an individual will be given an opportunity to present evidence at a hearing to cast doubt on this assertion.
Individuals who are interested in retaining or obtaining custody rights to a child might want to consult with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help parents before, during and after child custody hearings. For instance, a legal professional might recommend that a person attend parenting classes or take other steps to forge a stronger bond with a son or daughter. This may convince a judge that a person is fit to have a relationship with a child.