Sorry for the length, but summarized as best I can. I have had a previous thread about this situation here, for background information: Kids’ stepfather arrested for child molestation - what can their father do?
My boyfriend (“Father”) has three children, ages 9, 11 and 12, with his ex-wife (“Mother”). The Mother has primary physical custody of the children (in California), and live with Mother and her husband (“Stepfather”). Stepfather was recently arrested on child molestation charges - the alleged victim is the 14-year-old daughter of Mother and Stepfather’s friend.
My question is, if the Stepfather is convicted, will this bolster my boyfriend’s case to gain primary physical custody of his three children?
This is only the latest reason in a long series of reasons over the years why we feel the children are not doing well in their mother’s home, and feel they would be better off living with their father. Of course, the Stepfather being suspected of child molestation is the straw that broke the camel’s back
Details of the criminal case against Stepfather: The Stepfather was arrested and charged with (1) suspicion of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, (2) sexual penetration with a foreign object and (3) sexual battery. He was released from county jail on $100,000 bail. At the arraignment hearing, the district attorney did not pursue two more serious charges (penetration and battery) and Stepfather was arraigned on the first charge, lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.
When my boyfriend (Father) learned of the charges against his children’s stepfather*, he consulted with his attorney (which he had on retainer due to ongoing custody, child support, and visitation issues) and the attorney advised him to seek primary physical custody.
On this request, the family court judge ordered that the kids would remain with Mother until Stepfather’s case was finished, but that Stepfather was not allowed to be around my boyfriend’s kids (and an additional three younger children he has with his wife - total of 6 children). The Stepfather then moved out of the family home. After a month, a judge amended the order and allowed Stepfather to have supervised visitation once every two weeks for 4 hours. That is how it stands now, and will be revisited after Stepfather’s trial.
Obviously, my boyfriend is very concerned about his kids continuing to live in the household of this man if he is indeed guilty.
So, does anyone know anything about how a conviction might affect this custody case? Will a judge allow the stepfather to continue to live with the children? Is this cause for a judge to grant my boyfriend primary physical custody?
- About how we found out about the charges against Stepfather: The Mother did not tell my boyfriend (the children’s father) about the charges. We discovered it in the crime section of a local newspaper, which described his arrest and the charges against him. We found the article after we Googled Suspect/Stepfather’s name. You may be wondering, why did we Google his name? Well, call it a hunch or intuition… The children’s mother was acting strange, and the kids were acting moody and sullen, and we had a hunch that something was going on in the home. Knowing that the mother has a long history of being secretive, dishonest, and not forthcoming, we Googled the guy’s name and found this bombshell. The scary thing is that if we hadn’t found out ourselves, the mother would have undoubtedly NEVER had told us about it.
As an aside - I asked someone with legal knowledge this same question and he said that “If mom moves to divorce stepdad if he is convicted, then it may neutralize any benefit dad might gain.”
We feel strongly that Mother will NOT divorce Stepfather if he is convicted. Mother strongly denies the charges against her husband - she seems to be in total denial, defending her husband by accusing the victim’s mother of being “crazy,” “insane,” “mental,” “a psychopath,” etc., and has said that the 14-year-old victim is “promiscuous” and dresses like a “whore.” Mother vigorously claims that the victim’s mother made up the charges as revenge over unrequited crush directed at her husband (Stepfather).
Additionally, Mother does not work and has never worked, and has no job experience. She is a stay-at-home mother, and is heavily reliant on Stepfather financially. Like I said earlier, in addition to the 3 children she has by my boyfriend, she has 3 other children with Stepfather (ages 4, 2 and 6 months). She does get child support from my boyfriend for his 3 kids, but it’s not enough to support herself plus her other 3 kids. I don’t know how she would ever support herself and 6 kids if she divorced her husband - I think she would do whatever it took to stay in her nice house and keep her comfortable lifestyle (i.e., not having to work), even if it meant staying with a husband convicted of child molestation.