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FOR My step-son's mother was dating a registered sex

FOR JAMES My step-son's mother was...
FOR JAMES
My step-son's mother was dating a registered sex offender for 2 years, was engaged to him and then lost a 7 month old baby that belonged to him. She lied about who the father was because he was still under probation. A lawyer told us there was nothing we could do since we did not have photos of him and the child together, even though the mom talks about him and the things her and the child do together with this guy's family (she claims he is never there). Is there anything we can do? How would the father go about taking her to court without a lawyer? Thanks!
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10/16/2017
Longhorn Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
We would love to get custody of him because he has no stability with her...different boyfriends, change of homes and jobs. And then she openly admitted 2 years ago that she started seeing a guy that was listed on the Sheriff's website as a violent sex offender. Clearly her judgement is to be questioned if she thinks this is okay. If we were to go to court without a lawyer, how would we start the process to represent ourselves and what would we need to support our case. We have been keeping a list for a while now of her behaviors. What would our chances be?

Thank you for your patience. Your answer is below. When you get your answers, you will be asked to give a rating - 4 or 5 stars are appreciated. This is important because this is how I credit for doing my job. Don't worry, you can still ask related follow-up questions even after you've given a rating. Thank you!

ANSWER: His father would have to file a petition for sole custody of the child with the court in which the child resides. Ultimately, the court will make a decision on the case based solely on the best interests of the child, not the interests of the mother and not the interests of the father. So it will be important to provide evidence of her shortcomings as well as how the living arrangements might negatively affect the child, and inversely, how the stability and living arrangements in his father's home will benefit the child.

He'll also have to show that there has been a substantial change in one or more of these factors:

  • The age and sex of the child.
  • The wishes of the child's parent or parents.
  • The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child's wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age.
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parents, siblings and other people who affect the child's best interests.
  • The child's adjustment to the child's home, school, and community.
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
  • Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent.
  • Evidence that the child has been cared for by someone other than a parent for at least six months to a year, depending on the child's age. This person is called a "de facto custodian". If there is a "de facto custodian," the court shall consider:
    • The wishes of the child's de facto custodian.
    • The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by the de facto custodian.
    • The intent of the child's parent in placing the child with the de facto custodian.
    • The circumstances under which the child was allowed to remain in the custody of the de facto custodian, including whether the child was placed with the de facto custodian to allow the parent now seeking custody to work, look for work, or go to school.

As far as chances of success, there is no way for me to know that. It will depend on the evidence provided, both in support of him and detract from her.

Here you can find the relevant statutes regarding modification of custody: https://iga.in.gov/static-documents/e/b/3/f/eb3f2eb8/TITLE31_AR17_ch2.pdf

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks!
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