Proving parental unfitness

Termination of parental rights. Proving parental unfitness.
Proving parental unfitness.
In Massachusetts parental unfitness must be determined by taking into consideration a parent’s character, temperament, conduct, and capacity to provide for the child in the same context with the child’s particular needs, affections, and age. Adoption of Mary, 414 Mass. 705, 711 (1993). A judge may rely upon prior patterns of ongoing, repeated, serious parental neglect, abuse, and misconduct in determining current unfitness. Adoption of Diane, 400 Mass. 196, 204 (1987).

Proving parental unfitness

While the ultimate finding of unfitness must be by clear and convincing evidence, subsidiary evidentiary findings need only be proved by a fair preponderance of the evidence. Care and Protection of Laura, 414 Mass. 788, 793 (1993).

*The above information is very general in nature and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice. If a reader has a legal problem immediately consult an attorney for specific legal advice. See the disclaimer at the bottom of the page for more information.

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