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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    california
    Posts
    3

    Default Registered Sex Offender - Custody and Visitation

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California

    Good morning,

    I am a domestic violence survivor with 3 children, my ex-husband is a registered sex offender, the offense was towards me. Although the children were aware of the violence with their father. He was incarcerated and he is now on parole. Our case was opened in my city, now he went and opened another case for child custody and visitation in his city which is about 30 miles from one city to the other, can that be possible? Can i go ahead and request that we go to where the case was first opened? Can he get custody or visitation? I am afraid for the safety of my children, he used to tell us before that if we all couldn't be together he would have to cause an accident so that no one survived. I really don't trust him.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Registered Sex Offender / Custody & Visitation

    Quote Quoting toyota03
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    Our case was opened in my city, now he went and opened another case for child custody and visitation in his city which is about 30 miles from one city to the other, can that be possible?
    Anyone can open a case, but that doesn't mean the court will entertain that case. It is typical for cases to be brought in the court that has jurisdiction where the plaintiff lives, although in family law matters involving children, such cases usually need to be brought in the court that has jurisdiction based on where the CHILDREN live.

    Can i go ahead and request that we go to where the case was first opened?
    You can request this by bringing a motion for change of venue.

    Can he get custody or visitation?
    CAN he? Sure, anything is possible. How PROBABLE? For visitation, pretty high, even if that visitation is ordered to be supervised. Unless there is documented evidence of direct crimes against the children, courts will typically not bar a parent from all contact with their children. Courts tend to separate violence against a significant other from risk to the children (I know that seems stupid, but it is what it is), so in and of itself, the violence against you, even if the children were aware of it, won't be as much of a stumbling block as it maybe should be. The court would need to be convinced that there is some reason he would be a risk to the children, even if you weren't in the picture (and even then, supervised visitation would remain on the table). For full custody, the odds are worse for him, but joint custody is probably a 50/50 crap shoot.

    I am afraid for the safety of my children, he used to tell us before that if we all couldn't be together he would have to cause an accident so that no one survived. I really don't trust him.
    If these threats have been documented, either as part of the case that sent him to prison, or as part of a separate police report if the threats occurred after release, that'll help. If there has been no report of these threats and no restraining order has been requested, he has a better chance. Judges tend not to give great amounts of weight to accusations regarding fear for children without either documentation or SOME sort of constructive step has been taken for protection (in other words, when you tell the judge your fears, the next question will be "and was your restraining order granted?" - at that point the LAST thing you'll want to say is "I never asked for one".

    Also, be aware that when abusers make threats to take out a whole family - they need to be taken as if they were gospel truth. They are a HUGE red flag and one of the major indicators of trouble ahead when assessing propensity for future violence. Your case, in fact, has MULTIPLE factors that put you and your children (and also your ex) at high risk. Please be sure to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the saety plan at http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/plan.shtml. You can also check with your local domestic violence program to see if they offer programs like the ADT alarms and other safety enhancing ideas and services.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    california
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Registered Sex Offender - Custody and Visitation

    Thank you so much this is a relief, for a bit. No i never documented these threats, would you know where i can get low cost paralegal consultation?
    I was told that i cannot get legal aid help because legal aid is helping him already, how true is that?

    Thank you so much for your advise

  4. #4

    Default Re: Registered Sex Offender - Custody and Visitation

    If an office is already working his side of the case, there may be issues workin on your side of the case. However, in many places there are more than one program offering similar services, so be sure there's not another program you might be able to work through. Your local domestic violence program will be your best bet, either to a referral in your area, or, because they often have attorneys who volunteer time to help in cases such as yours. You can find your local program at http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/states/ca.shtml. Note that there is contact for several legal assistance programs on the list as well.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

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