forced to share custody with ex (who was arrested online sol.of minor)

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

Need any help I can get? Info or advice? My ex was arrested for online solicitation of a minor (through undercover task force) and I am being forced to continue to share custody with him of my 6yo son. I am drowning in attorney fees and seems like I'm getting nowhere. I am just trying to protect my son from potential harm (whether it be physical mental or emotional) as well as prevent unnecessary exposure. I feel as if my sons fate lies in the hands of the court, and I am just wondering if anyone has any advice or has gone through this before?

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Jodi - posted on 04/01/2016

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I agree with Sarah. His actions may have been illegal and inappropriate, but that does not necessarily mean he doesn't have a right to parent his son. What kind of harm are you trying to protect your son from? I am assuming, if you are drowning in legal fees, that your evidence has already been heard by a judge and that judge has denied your requests because your case is not demonstrating harm to your child.

Also, being arrested for something is not the same as being charged and judged guilty for the crime.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/02/2016

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Jodi and Sarah have covered it. At this point, your ex is not guilty of anything, until proven so, and attempted contact with a 15 YO female is NOT the same as parenting his biological son.

What therapy have you had your son in? Any? Have you asked your son why he seems to melt down when it's dad's turn for visitation?

Bottom line: You have to document and prove any harmful behaviour. You have to have proof that contact with his father is harmful to him, or life threatening. Simply presenting "He lives in one room with his father, step mom, and infant sibling" is not considered life threatening, nor is it unacceptable if that is the only living arrangement the child's father has at this point.

Just because he made a poor (very poor) choice doesn't mean that he cannot parent effectively, and until he's proven guilty, you don't really KNOW that he actually participated in the solicitation.

Jodi - posted on 04/02/2016

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Attempted contact with an unrelated 15 year old female is a VERY different to contact with his own young son. The former would have absolutely no bearing on the safety of the latter. Hence why a judge ruled that it was okay.

If your son is having breakdowns, I would suggest you get him to see a child psychologist. If a psychologist deems that the situation is harmful to your child, then they may be able to make appropriate reports.

Sarah - posted on 04/01/2016

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If it is not life threatening is not a good enough reason. Decisions about your child's welfare must be made with the consideration of what is in his best interest, not whether or not he will die.
Your lawyer has a duty to present evidence to the judge and then let the judge decide to take action. The whole argument of a judge not interfering with another judges ruling may make sense if this were all limited to family court and not split between civil and criminal courts. In criminal court your ex is considered innocent of the crime until proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That standard does not apply to family/civil court. Simply being arrested for a sex related offense should be grounds to at least mandate supervised visitation. Have you actually appeared in civil court since the arrest? Does your son have a guardian ad litum? Or a CASA worker? Have you attended a mediation yet? Meanwhile, document every detail you can and get as many statements from teachers, his pediatrician or counselor.

[deleted account]

Lawyer doesn't really help. She basically files the court paperwork and leaves the rest of the work to me.

My ex has history of poor decision making regarding my sons well being. Some decisions which were very serious, harmful and inappropriate (*I'd rather not get into specific graphic detail*)- yet no protection agency or judge seem to care...I was told that unless my son is hospitalized, or I have physical proof that he was sexually abused, then they cannot help.

The "criminal" judge altered my exes bond to allow him to continue visitation/split custody, I'm assuming because my son is MALE and the "assumed" 15 yo minor that he attempted to meet up with was FEMALE ?

The "civil" judge for our custody case has not seen any evidence or information that I have provided to my lawyer? According to her, "that's not how things work" and that judges don't like to question other fellow judges decisions so he didn't deem it necessary to look into any further details. He merely demanded we go to mediation sessions.... Which my lawyer again, took this very passively and gave very little assistance. I was told that if I didn't make an agreement and kept my son from his father, I would be held in contempt and possibly face jail time. So I had no choice but to make temp agreement giving him his visitation/custody...

The criminal trial is still pending and I'm kind of stuck in limbo.

My son is literally sharing a room (one bedroom of ex's parents house) with my ex, his wife and their newborn daughter.
My son begs to stay at home and doesn't seem to really want to go to their house. He is having behavior issues at school (his teacher has documented these dates and brought to my attention that these issues coincide with the days leading up to And just after these visitations with my ex)and he's having emotional breakdowns at home. But I'm told that it's not life threatening so nobody can help.

Sarah - posted on 04/01/2016

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While your ex husband's behavior is completely inappropriate, it may not mean he can't parent. Was he soliciting the company of a male or female, and how old did he think the person actually was? What does your lawyer say? If he is convicted, he may be a registered sex offender and that would play into a custody decision. Do you think your husband would harm his child? An adulterer is not necessarily a child molester. As a judge made a ruling or is this still in process? I'd think if your ex is pending trial, you could ask for a temporary order for sole custody until his fitness to parent can be determined.

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