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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7454
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My ex- wife is a sex offender does she keep custody of the

Customer Question

my ex- wife is a sex offender does she keep custody of the kids
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 4 months ago.

Is there a valid court order re: custody and is the court aware of the conviction?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry typed wrong. My ex-wife is marrying a convicted sex offender. Does she keep custody of our 2 children?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 4 months ago.

Any valid court order will remain in effect until it is modified by the court; based on a showing of changed circumstance (the marriage) a parent can request a modification of the current child custody order; while there is no legal specification in the statute addressing it, allowing a child to be in the presence of a convicted sex offender may be grounds for a charge of child endangerment in normal circumstances but not when the parent is married to that person (the reasoning behind the statute is not stated). However, when determining child custody the court can look to the best interests of the child, and many courts may be very reluctant to allow a minor to be in the unsupervised presence of a convicted offender; the court will likely look to the underlying facts of the conviction, whether the person is a repeat offender, the amount of time that has elapsed, etc.

The statute states (see section k):

726.6 CHILD ENDANGERMENT. 1. A person who is the parent, guardian, or person having custody or control over a child or a minor under the age of eighteen with a mental or physical disability, or a person who is a member of the household in which a child or such a minor resides, commits child endangerment when the person does any of the following: a. Knowingly acts in a manner that creates a substantial risk to a child or minor's physical, mental or emotional health or safety. b. By an intentional act or series of intentional acts, uses unreasonable force, torture or cruelty that results in bodily injury, or that is intended to cause serious injury. c. By an intentional act or series of intentional acts, evidences unreasonable force, torture or cruelty which causes substantial mental or emotional harm to a child or minor. d. Willfully deprives a child or minor of necessary food, clothing, shelter, health care or supervision appropriate to the child or minor's age, when the person is reasonably able to make the necessary provisions and which deprivation substantially harms the child or minor's physical, mental or emotional health. For purposes of this paragraph, the failure to provide specific medical treatment shall not for that reason alone be considered willful deprivation of health care if the person can show that such treatment would conflict with the tenets and practice of a recognized religious denomination of which the person is an adherent or member. This exception does not in any manner restrict the right of an interested party to petition the court on behalf of the best interest of the child or minor. e. Knowingly permits the continuing physical or sexual abuse of a child or minor. However, it is an affirmative defense to this subsection if the person had a reasonable apprehension that any action to stop the continuing abuse would result in substantial bodily harm to the person or the child or minor. f. Abandons the child or minor to fend for the child or minor's self, knowing that the child or minor is unable to do so. g. Knowingly permits a child or minor to be present at a location where amphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, or methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, is manufactured in violation of section 124.401, subsection 1, or where a product is possessed in violation of section 124.401, subsection 4. h. Knowingly allows a person custody or control of, or unsupervised access to a child or a minor after knowing the person is required to register or is on the sex offender registry as a sex offender under chapter 692A. However, this paragraph does not apply to a person who is a parent or guardian of a child or a minor, who is required to register as a sex offender, or to a person who is married to and living with a person required to register as a sex offender. 2. A parent or person authorized by the parent shall not be prosecuted for a violation of subsection 1, paragraph "f", relating to abandonment, if the parent or person authorized by the parent has voluntarily released custody of a newborn infant in accordance with section 233.2. 3.

That statute is here:

https://coolice.legis.iowa.gov/cool-ice/default.asp?category=billinfo&service=iowacode&ga=83&input=726.6

Section 598.41 lists the factors the court may consider and you will see it gives the judge great discretion as they want the judge to have the ability to safeguard the minor:

https://coolice.legis.iowa.gov/cool-ice/default.asp?category=billinfo&service=iowacode&input=598

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Expert:  LegalGems replied 4 months ago.

Hi- just checking in to see if you needed clarification on any of the above information. If so please post here (there is no additional charge for this) and I will do my best to get you the requested information.

Thank you!