When Does A Parent Become An Unfit Parent?

At what point does a parent become unfit to parent and maintain custody of their child(ren)? A recent decision by the Massachusetts Appeals Court highlighted some of the trouble spots that a judge considers when determining whether to adjudicate a parent unfit.

The Terminator: No More Parental Rights

Occasionally we’re asked what the law requires in order to terminate a parent’s rights to their child. Here’s the answer: “[A] judge must find, by clear and convincing evidence, that the natural parent is unfit to further the welfare and best interests of the child.” See Adoption of Peggy, 436 Mass. 690, 701 (2002). Beyond […]

Responsibility to Protect Children from Abusive Co-Parents

Massachusetts law allows parents many rights in raising their children. However, parents also have responsibilities, including protecting children from abusive co-parents. This was illustrated by a recent Appeals Court case. In Adoption of Cecily, a mother’s parental rights were terminated after she was found to have left her child with the child’s father, knowing that […]