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I'm going through a dissolution with children and my soon to…

I'm going through a dissolution...
I'm going through a dissolution with children and my soon to be ex wife is taking my son from me 100% based on the fact that I have a no contest rape plea from 20 years ago. Is there anything I can do to be able to get more than supervised visitation with my child
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/13/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,332
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Thanks very much for your considerable patience on this. You may need to file for a modification of child custody if you want to see your child again.

ustody, visitation, and child support are always difficult issues to sort out, but thankfully the courts are there to help settle the score on the issue. If you are looking to modify custody, visitation, or child support, you’ll have to go through the court system. It typically starts with filing a petition, which is just a request through the courts to get a change in one of those things. Once you fill out the petition, you should make three copies: one to you, one for the court, and one to the other party. It is critical to understand that the courts are bound to look at what is in the best interests of the child above all else. This means they will look into who and how the child’s health, education, welfare, and safety are best going to be served. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient for one parent, but because the kids cannot protect themselves, the court takes it upon itself to protect them. The bright side is that if you understand this in advance, then you will have an edge when you are dealing with the other side because you’ll be seeing this process through the court’s eyes.

Regardless, once you have filed the documents, someone who is over 18 and not a party to the case will serve the document on the other party. They will have a chance to respond to the petition and they will serve you as well. The court will likely set a date where they will either order mediation or they will make a decision at that time. If you can’t agree at mediation or if the court decides it needs more info, then it is likely you would go to a trial where you can put on witnesses, provide your own testimony, and let the judge make a ruling after that. Those are less likely scenarios, but they come up on occasion.

The order is enforceable from the moment it is entered and if a party fails to abide by the order, then they are going to be held in contempt of court.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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I am showing that you have given my answer a negative rating. Keep in mind, I can only give you truthful information as simply telling you only what you wish to hear but what may not necessarily be true would only hurt you. If you are upset at your situation but not by the quality of my answer, please consider rerating positively as I am only a messenger. If you simply want more information, feel free to reply and let me know - I am here to help you to your satisfaction. If you have other concerns, reply and let me know. I am here to make sure you are satisfied.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
You received a negative rating because a motion for modification is a parenting plan that is already in place per court. I haven't even went through the divorce process yet. I was just served yesterday and I'm trying to prevent a future parenting plan from reflecting negatively on me.

Thanks for providing that additional information. We can continue this discussion until you're satisfied. Because I don't have any documents or understand the timeline, I may need your assistance so I can help. If I understand you correctly, you were just served with divorce papers yesterday, and your wife is basically not letting you see your son at this point, correct?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
in the divorce papers her recommendation is that I have strict supervision with my child

I see what you mean. I'm very sorry that you're having to go through that. So, generally, the law requires that you respond to the petition with your own set of facts and with your requests as well. You can tell the court in your response that you would like a greater share of the custody until a final disposition is made by the court when they grant the divorce.

What typically happens is that the court will either a) let you and your wife work it out or b) they will call a hearing to determine the issue of custody.

In your opinion, do you believe that your wife and/or her attorney would be willing to negotiate with you on custody until a final disposition is made?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No she is responding pro se and she knows the only way to hurt me is with my child and my past is her key.

I can understand. So, in your response, you should include that. In fact, what I would recommend is making a pro con list of why you should have greater custody than she is requesting. You could list in the con section the rape plea from 20 years ago, but you should also list any other pros that you may have. For example, if you have a clean place to live, if the kids have a space to play/sleep, if you have a job or other source of income, if you have stayed out of trouble since 1998, or anything else to help your case.

If she is not going to work with you, then the court is going to have to set something up to make the final determination. It's probable the court will assign someone to investigate your criminal background based on the allegations your wife is making that you're an unfit parent, but if there's really nothing to see, you will be fine.

Basically, this is all going to come to down to an issue of the facts, meaning that you may have to throw your wife under the bus a bit. It's not always great, but to help see your kids, sometimes you have to fight back a bit. If there are things that she has done that suggests that full custody would not be in the best interests of the children, then you should include that in your pro con list as well.

What other questions did you have for me about this today?

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,332
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Thank you so much for turning around your ratings. I certainly wish you the best of luck in dealing with your wife and this situation. If there are things that you think a third-party may e concerned with in terms of giving you some custody, you should work on adjusting those now. For instance, if you are out of work, then finding some work may be useful. Moreover, if you live in a neighborhood that is high in crime, then you must consider moving or at least be able to explain how crime is not going to be a factor in your case. Also, you may want to consider moving closer to the children's school if that is possible for you to do so. These changes can give you, particularly if you are a man, an edge in this situation.

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