Child custody is not something that Colorado Springs courts take lightly, particularly when one parent is attempting to win sole physical and legal custody. However, it is possible to prepare an airtight case that will protect a child from further abuse or neglect. The key to presenting a compelling case is getting your facts straight. Whether the parent in question is verbally or physically abusive, any supportive evidence must make the case that he or she is not fit to maintain custody of minor children.
An custody and parental rights attorney can help by conducting research on the allegedly unfit parent. This may include drug use, domestic violence or other forms of abuse, criminal history or involvement in other unsavory activities.
The next step is to identify any specific risks to the child in the home of the parent. This may include dangerous objects, substances, people or situations. Even the neighborhood where the parent lives could come into question if it is one with a high crime rate.
In most cases, a good custody attorney will request a psychological evaluation of the parent, which will provide valuable insight into how they think, and whether abuse is likely to occur. Sometimes a judge will also approve a psychological evaluation of the child. Screenings like this can often uncover emotional abuse that may not be physically evident. For school-age children, school records may be helpful too. If abuse is suspected, a custody attorney may also subpoena the child’s medical history, including any hospital records and doctors’ notes.
As you can see, the preparation for having a parent declared as “unfit” is time-consuming and tedious. Attempting to “go it alone” is not advised in such situations. Consulting with a Colorado Springs custody lawyer will ensure that you enter the courtroom fully prepared.