Custody for children in home with sex offender

There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for our children. When their safety is at risk, most parents would consider their protection a do or die situation. For one Nebraska man, his attempts to keep his daughters safe have left him without hope and struggling to make sense of the situation.

A Nebraska father sought custody of his two teenage daughters after learning that their stepfather, who they live with, is a registered sex offender. According to court documents, the stepfather was found guilty of the attempted sexual assault in 2003 of his teenage stepdaughter from a previous marriage, to which he spent four years in prison. Now that the registered sex offender is stepfather to this Nebraska dad’s children, he wanted full custody.

After court proceedings, a three-judge panel found that there was no inherent danger to the teenage girls living with the sex offender and that custody would remain unchanged. This decision comes after a heavy consideration was given to the girls’ mental health provider who admittedly doesn’t normally work with adults and has never met the stepfather in person. The ruling understandably comes as a shock to the girls’ father.

Although there is justification in the eyes of family court to request a change in custody if one parent lives with a registered sex offender, final discretion is left to the judge. As upsetting as it may be to parents, if a judge determines the children are not at risk, they may order custody stay the same. For individuals looking to modify custody orders because of the concern for their children’s safety, a family law attorney may be able to help.

Source: JournalStar.com, Man loses custody battle for kids living with sex offender, AP, Aug. 26, 2015

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