Parent’s Visitation Rights Affected by the Parent’s Sexual Conduct

Where You Need a Lawyer:

(This may not be the same place you live)

At No Cost! 

 Are a Parent's Child Visitation Rights Affected by the Their Sexual Conduct?

Many courts disagree on the subject of whether the non-custodial parent’s extramarital behavior or relationships have an impact on the parent’s visitation rights. There are essentially two viewpoints on the matter:

Some legal systems assume that the child will be harmed by the non-custodial parent’s extramarital behavior or connection. Visitation privileges are frequently restricted in these jurisdictions to protect the child from such exposure.

To secure restrictions on the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights, other jurisdictions need the custodial parent to prove that the non-custodial parent’s actions cause “actual injury” to the child.

Parental Rights May Be Affected by Sexual Claims

Your parental rights may be affected by sexual claims. The same sexual claims can lead to a civil hearing to decrease or eliminate your parenting time before you can defend against your criminal charges. Although the cases below are often in your favor, it can be challenging tactically to have a civil case go before a criminal one because sworn testimony from the civil court might be used against you in the following criminal case.

In other words, you shouldn’t try to preserve your parenting time with such vigor that you subject yourself to mental testing and arduous cross-examining by your spouse’s lawyer. It may be necessary for you to forfeit or delay parenting time until the accusations are subsequently proven to be untrue. After that, you can file a civil lawsuit against the spouse for making these unfounded accusations to obtain an advantage in a legal case.

After deciding on a custody arrangement, the court must, upon the non-custodial parent’s request, grant visitation rights that will allow the child and non-custodial parent to continue their parent-child relationship unless the court determines after a hearing that visitation is likely to endanger the child’s physical or emotional well-being.

When granting any such visiting rights, the court must specify which parent’s house each minor kid shall dwell in on specific dates throughout the year, considering arrangements for holidays, family birthdays, vacations, and other special occasions.

Suppose the non-custodial parent is found to have physically or emotionally abused the kid. In that case, the court may order that visitation be supervised or forbidden until the abuse has stopped, or there is no plausible chance that it will happen again.

Except in situations where the department is the petitioner or intervening petitioner in a case where the custody or guardianship of a child is in dispute, the court may not order the department of children’s services to conduct visitation supervision pursuant to this section.

What Are Visitation Rights?

Depending on the facts of a case, a parent may also receive visitation rights as either an alternative to child custody or in addition to custodial rights. As with custody arrangements, the terms of visitation will be provided in a formal agreement known as a “visitation schedule.” Along with a detailed schedule, an agreement will also usually contain the child’s primary residence, permitted activities, and instructions regarding modification of the arrangement.

In general, there are two types of visitation: unsupervised and supervised. Unsupervised visitation is the most common of the two. It permits a parent to spend time with their child without the supervision of a neutral third party.

In contrast, supervised visitation is less common and requires a neutral third party to be present during the visitation period. This form of visitation is court-ordered. As such, the court will typically create the parties’ visitation schedule (e.g., date, time, duration, etc.) and appoint the person supervising the visit.

Is it Possible for a Parent Who Sexually Assaulted My Child or Another Child to Visit?

Suppose the other parent sexually assaulted you, your kids, or any member of your family. In that case, it’s likely that the abusive parent will only be granted supervised visits if the abuser makes a formal court request for visitation. A judge must find “clear and compelling evidence” that a parent who abuses children, stepchildren, or family members sexually has done any of the following in order to qualify for supervised visitation.

Sexual abuse is defined as doing any of the following:

  • Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile (statutory rape);
  • Indecent behavior with juveniles;
  • Pornography involving juveniles; molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability;
  • Luring people into prostitution;
  • Sexual battery in the second or third degree;
  • Oral sexual battery;
  • Female genital mutilation;
  • Human trafficking;
  • Trafficking of children for sexual purposes; or
  • The parent had the power to stop the sexual abuse of their children, stepchildren, or a household member by a third party, but the abuse was “willingly permitted” to occur.

The parent cannot be granted supervised visitation until s/he can demonstrate in court that s/he finished a program for sexual abusers. However, unless the parent can demonstrate that the treatment program was properly completed, there cannot be any contact or visitation.

The following will also be taken into account by the judge at the hearing when determining whether or not to grant supervised visitation:

  • Whether the abusive parent demonstrated that visitation would be in the best interest of the child;
  • Visitation would not cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm to the child;
  • Evidence of the abusive parent’s current mental health condition;
  • The likelihood that the abusive parent will subject their children, stepchildren, or other household members to sexual abuse in the future (either by personally committing the abuse or by “willingly permitting” someone else to do it); and
  • Whether the abusive parent demonstrated that: visitation would be in the best

The “Child’s Best Interests” Standard: What is it?

The court will typically use the child’s best interest standard when making judgments involving children in family law proceedings. When deciding on a child custody or visitation arrangement, this standard will be used, and it will take precedence over the majority of state child custody rules. However, each state will have different criteria that the court will take into account while applying the standard.

The child’s best interest criterion basically serves as a mechanism for the law to make sure that a vulnerable group of people—children—are given the highest level of safeguards. Therefore, in accordance with this requirement, a person assuming custody of a kid must be able to maintain a stable home environment and protect the child’s safety and well-being.

The court will take into account a number of elements, including the parent’s capacity to care for the child, their relationship with the child, and which home would be best suited for the child’s adjustment or needs, in order to decide whether a parent meets the requirements for custody under this standard.

How Can the Custodial Parent Modify the Non-Custodial Parent’s Visitation Rights?

One person often needs to demonstrate a change in circumstances that supports an alteration when custodial parents want to change their current visitation rights. Additionally, custodial parents must consider how the court will decide whether newly imposed visiting limitations constitute an unconstitutional violation of a parent’s rights.

Will an Attorney Help My Argument for Visitation Rights for My Children?

When discussing kid visitation rights, there are a lot of difficult and sensitive subjects. To reach a verdict, courts will take into account each one and balance all the relevant factors. In the end, the court’s judgment must be based on what is in the child’s best interests. A knowledgeable child visitation attorney will help you protect your interests and would be very helpful in your case.

star-badge.png

16 people have successfully posted their cases

Find a Lawyer