My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California
I am a former drug abuser and felon who served my prison time and paid debt to society and have stayed out of trouble since being released in 2007. No criminal history of violence and/or Sex Crimes. I have completely turned my life around and married for the first time on June 23rd 2012. Unfortunately her ex-husband is a Deputy Corrections Officer(No I did not know him from my previous past) and has had big issues with me from the start, we now find ourselves in a predicament were she needs to get some modifications to their child custody (We would like for her to have 'Right of First Refusal' and a gag order on her ex and her own mother from telling the kids bad things about my wife and I) and support agreement through family court and I am gravely concerned that my past could effect things.
I am in the process of getting character reference letters from non-family members, also recently went into business for myself , and am the primary provider in the household. we have also been attending counseling for 2 months to learn to be the best parents we can, as I am always trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday.
Her Ex is very controlling person and has threatened to take the kids from her several times, with no real grounds at all.
I love these kids (all 5 of them) as if they were my own, fortunately I was never able to have kids of my own due to a genetic disorder and have always loved kids and loved these kids as my own. I realize I have to be prepared to face every piece of dirt I have ever done if need be, I am deeply ashamed of my past but never afraid to face it.
Due to the issues my wife has with her mother (MIL thinks/acts as though she is the childs mother and will not respect my wife's boundaries - Kids even call her 'Mama') , Mother is also still very tight with the ex-husband and I could see them getting together to hire a lawyer to use this in an attempt to take parental rights from my wife.
It is my understanding from research (here and other sources) that the court is more concerned with the best interests of the child and how the family environment is today rather than focus on the past of the parents (other than if there were some Sex Offenses and possible child abuse).
Just looking for any thoughts and advice i may have overlooked.
Thanks in advance.