Child Custody and Parental Rights: the Case of the Unfit Mother

mother shouting scolding husbandAccording to the laws of all U.S. states, the biological or adoptive parent is the best individual to care for a child, regardless of gender. Historically though, courts weren’t keen on the idea of taking children away from their mothers, especially in cases that involved babies and younger kids. However, according to the Equal Protection Clause, it is unconstitutional for state laws to favor the mother over the father.

What if the Mother Is Unfit?

In cases in which a mother is unfit or unwilling to take care of a child, she can lose custody, via either private custody action or interference of family services agencies. If you want more information about this, you can consult lawyers from a family law firm in Albuquerque, NM.

If the state invokes child custody, the mother has to follow a detailed procedure to get the child back. Otherwise, the court can terminate her parental rights and make it impossible for the child to be put on adoption.

If the father believes that the mother is no longer fit to serve as the custodial parent, he can petition the court for a child custody order or request an amendment of the current law so that he can have custody of the child. Also, if the mother’s behavior is a danger to the child’s welfare, the state might get custody of the child.

Terminating the Mother’s Parental Rights

If the mother is reluctant or unwilling to comply with the court’s orders, the court has no choice but to terminate her parental rights so that the child can be placed for adoption. In most cases, the mother can either contest or consent to this. However, the court can involuntarily terminate the mother’s rights if it finds that she is guilty of severe neglect or abuse. Depending on specific circumstances, the court can likewise revoke a mother’s parental rights if she is an alcoholic or substance abuser, has an unaddressed mental illness, or doesn’t stay in contact with the child.

Nowadays, mothers do not always have an advantage over fathers when it comes to custody. You can increase your chances of court approval by consulting a professional in family law.