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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33166
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
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My daughter has atwo children and left her husband 8 months

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My daughter has atwo children and left her husband 8 months ago. She would like to get a divorce but is afraid of him and that he might get custody of the kids. He has a prior felony conviction for violence and a misdemeaner for violence and also a felony conviction for drugs, he got out of prison app. one year ago for the drug charge. What is the likelihood that he might get joint legal custody or joint physical custody. He rarely sees the kids and he harasses her all the time by text.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am very sorry to hear of your daughter's difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Is there any evidence that the husband may be using drugs currently? How long ago did the criminal convictions occur?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes i think that he is currently using drugs and drinking. When he is nice he tells her by text that he is saving money to go into a one year program. His first criminal conviction was in 1998 for 5 years when he was 21. His midemeanor was in 2009 for four months in jail. His drug felony was in 2011 for eight months in prison. He was released in February 2012 and had one year probation but no one ever checked up on him.

I see. Thank you for the additional information, Lynne.

Under these circumstances, since there are recent convictions and evidence that the father continues to engage in criminal behavior including use of illegal drugs, he would not be likely to gain joint custody of the children if these facts are introduced into evidence in a divorce proceeding.

This could even be enough to have his parental rights involuntarily terminated, but that can be a tough legal battle. However, a court would not normally grant the father joint custody with this kind of track record. Your daughter could request that he have no visitation or only supervised visitation and comply with random drug testing if he pursues visitation rights, so there are safeguards in place to protect the children.

However, at most, I would expect a court to grant limited supervised visitation by the father in the best interests of the children to ensure they are protected.

Here is a link which describes supervised visitation:

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have told her that she should file for divorce immediately. I suggested that she talk to the Legal Aid Society in San Diego to start (she has been in the 'poor' level for the last few years but in October got a job making $60k per year). Is the Legal Aid a good place to start or should we hire an attorney that has been recommended to us but is expensive? I also suggested that she talk to them about a TRO as he texted her last night that he was waiting outside her house and she didn't want to go home and stayed at our house which is an hour away. He sent 21 harassing texts yesterday.

Hello again, Lynne.

Legal aid would not typically be able to assist your daughter at this point if she is now making $60k per year. It would normally be better to hire a private attorney under these circumstances, even if they are expensive. Often justice does not come cheap unfortunately, although she may want to shop around for a less expensive attorney.

Yes, most definitely, she should seek a restraining order against her ex given his continuing threats. Having a restraining order would also signal to the court determining custody that the father is not stable and could be a threat to others, support your daughter's request for sole custody of the children.
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