The California courts assume any child living with a parent or third party who is a registered sex offender (against the children) is at significant risk. The court also believes that a child living with a parent or third party who has committed a felonious act against a minor is at substantial risk. This assumption is referred to as “prima facie” evidence. If a party has committed the above types of crime, the California court will require the convicted party to prove that the child will not be at “significant risk” in their custody.
The convicted party/registered sex offender will not be awarded joint or sole custody or unsupervised visitation unless they can present proof they are not a risk. In most cases, parents who are registered sex offenders or other parents convicted of a felony act against a minor have a challenging time overturning the legal presumption. California courts are extremely cautious in protecting the safety of children in these cases.
For parents who are registered sex offenders or who have been convicted of a felony act against a minor, the most likely optimistic outcome is supervised visitation. In some cases, the court will allow a registered sex offender or felon convicted of acts against a minor visitation with their child if the visitation is in a supervised setting.
Parents who are registered sex offenders of felons convicted of an act against a minor who are seeking custody or visitation should consult with an experienced attorney. Child custody issues are complicated. When criminal convictions are added to the case, they quickly become quite complicated. California law also prevents any person from allowing the child to visit or be in the custody of a convicted parent without the consent of the child’s legal guardian or until a custody or visitation order is issued by the court.
When issuing their decision, the court may deny a registered sex offender or felon convicted of acts against a minor both custody and visitation while still ordering them responsible for paying child support. In this situation, the court may order child support to be paid through the local child support agency. The court is prohibited from disclosing the custodial parent’s address, workplace, the child’s school, etc. unless revealing the info would be in the best interest of the child.
If you are concerned about how the law handles child custody and registered sex offenders in the state of California, please get in touch with one of the experienced child custody attorneys at Orange County’s The Maggio Law Firm to discuss the details of your case today.