How Does Illinois Determine if Someone is an Unfit Parent?

Child Custody
How Does Illinois Determine if Someone is an Unfit Parent?

How Does Illinois Determine if Someone is an Unfit Parent?

Claiming that someone is an unfit parent isn’t to be taken lightly, and the court carefully investigates these claims. In order to prove that someone is an unfit parent, the individual will need to fulfill the definitions below and have evidence demonstrating their inability to care for their child. In Illinois, an “unfit parent” is defined by state statutes as a parent who cannot be trusted to care for a child. The courts typically analyze whether a parent is unfit when arranging child custody

Either party can accuse the other of being unfit; however, extensive evidence is required before that parent can no longer have custody or care of the child. To better understand what determines an unfit parent, we can explore Illinois’s child custody laws. Our attorneys at SAM LAW OFFICE LLC provide advice specific to your case at a consultation.   

What Proves Whether the Other Parent is Unfit

There are major consequences in determining that an individual is unfit. You’ll need convincing evidence that demonstrates what the other parent did that deems them unfit. There are grounds if the other person is proven to have taken any of the following actions towards the child:

  • Abandonment
  • Repeated, extreme cruelty 
  • Continuous, severe neglect 
  • Failure to maintain responsibility or concern for the child’s welfare
  • Failure to eliminate conditions in the child’s environment that compromise their welfare
  • Convicted of crimes, such as murder or sexual assault
  • Does not provide adequate food, clothing or shelter despite having the financial and physical ability to do so
  • Mental illness or impairment that affects the parent’s ability to provide care
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs
  • Discovery of drugs in the child’s system

Since there is a high level of evidence needed, proving that a parent fulfills these conditions isn’t always easy. You will need an attorney’s assistance to develop sufficient evidence to present to the courts. 

Evidence to Demonstrate a Parent is Unfit

The court maintains a high burden of proof when establishing that a parent is unfit to care for a child. Therefore, the court does not accept rumors or verbal accusations alone as evidence. Instead, you must fulfill the burden of proof by developing a solid case containing convincing evidence. Documents that can be used to demonstrate a parent is unfit may include: 

  • Medical documents describing injuries or sicknesses related to the housing environment and other relevant matters
  • Videos or photos showing abuse, neglect or unhealthy living conditions
  • Criminal records and police reports
  • Relevant text messages, emails, social media posts and other correspondence

Proving a parent’s inability to care for a child can be difficult since you may not know what will convince the court. Our family law attorneys have assisted individuals in these cases and can ensure that your situation is efficiently handled to protect the child’s best interests. 

Contact Our Attorneys Today

When a parent is determined to be unfit by the court, you will receive more time to care for the child and support their well-being. Our family law attorneys at SAM LAW OFFICE LLC are available to discuss your case and help you prepare your evidence.





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