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Custodial mother worried that alleged sex offender father is back in picture after 5 years and wants access to child


Your Question:
This is a long and involved case. It begins before the child was born and is presently rearing its ugly head again. Some of this is in point form so hopefully you'll understand. Pregnant. Ulitimatum -- Abortion or divorce? Birth. Sexual Interference on infant. Supervised access. Five years of legal battles. He represents himself. No cost to him except to file papers. Me, I'm almost bankrupt. Court Order 2001-- Get a job. Report income to court. Pay child support and equilization to mother of child. Supervised access until the child is 10. Today, after abandonment of child for the past 5 years and has had no access, no support, no communication and no idea where or what he has done, he has asked to start to see the child as per the old order. (The child is 10 so the unsupervised access will legally go into effect). What can a custodial parent do? He did not want the child born. He has no relationship to the child except biologically. He abandoned the child for the past 5 years and he has never even bought a diaper for the child. He has no parenting skills. He wants unsupervised access. Does the child have a voice? Will the biological father have the right to turn the child's life upside down? Will the dead-beat dad get access? What can I do to protect the child? Is there justice? Whose best interests are in play the father's or the child's?

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My Answer:
Hi,

SLOOOOOW down. You're going to hurt yourself.

The child's interest is always the priority in the courtroom. After that, yes, parents have rights too.

I hear ya on the almost-bankrupt front, but I think you need an attorney again to do something akin to the following:

  • File contempt motion for nonpayment of child support. If he hasn't paid in five years, he's in for a world of hurt.

  • Ask that father pay your attorney fees, given that you've been the only source of support for this child for 5 years, and you can't afford this.

  • File motion seeking restraining order prohibiting contact between father and child until further order of the court. This shouldn't be too tough if it's true that the father is a registered sex offender, if he's only had supervised access to date, and if he hasn't had any relationship with the child for 5 years.

  • File motion seeking that the father go through a psychological evaluation before granting him visitation at this time. Father to pay for the psych eval.

It's doubtful that the father will jump through all these hoops, if he's the man you describe. If he does, and if he's found to be psychologically stable with no tendencies toward perversion or abuse, then it's likely he'll get supervised visitation for a while until he proves himself further.

This isn't about justice, fairness, or drama. It takes a logical approach to lay out "child's best interest" with all the information you provided, and it takes an attorney to effectively put together an aggressive defense like the one I outlined.

If all that you say is true, I can't imagine he's going to get access to the child anytime soon, but that relies on you continuing to mount strong legal arguments coupled with strategies that will swamp dad with legal issues (i.e., and perhaps make him go away again).

Eric





This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.


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