This is the next post in my series on supervised child custody in Melbourne, Florida. My last article discussed supervising child visitation due to drug use. Parents must be aware that the Court can order supervised visits for the abuse of legal drugs as well as illegal ones. Such legal drugs typically include medical marijuana and prescription pills. If you believe that your son or daughter’s other parent should not care for the child alone, then it is important to contact an attorney immediately. In this article I will discuss another important topic – supervising a parent’s visitation due to their criminal activity. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child custody lawyer.
A court will quickly become concerned if a parent is being arrested and having run-ins with the law. When a parent is arrested for a crime, and released on bond, then the Court may be willing to require supervised visitation depending on the nature of the offense. If the charges, for example involve violent behavior, guns, or other menacing conduct, then Courts may be hesitant to leave the offending parent around the child unsupervised. If the conduct is more minor and the parent has no criminal history then the Court may be less willing to impose supervision. In other words, how the Court will view the situation will depend on the specifics of the case.
The foregoing is best explained by way of example. Suppose Joe instigates a bar fight. He is arrested and, as part of the arrest, the police search his car which is in the parking lot. They find an unregistered loaded gun in the glovebox. Joe also has a prior conviction for assault and battery and is released on bond. Under this scenario, the Court may be willing to impose supervised visitation while the criminal case is pending. This would be due to concern that Joe will become violent in the presence of the child and a gun may become involved. Now suppose that Joe had never been arrested in his life, and alleges he was defending himself in the bar fight. Also, suppose no firearm was present. Given the lack of a criminal history, the Court may be less willing to supervise Joe’s visitation.
An important point to understand is that Courts often give little credence to accusations of criminal activity when law enforcement is not involved. If a parent alleges that their counterpart is engaging in such conduct, but they have never been arrested or charged, then the Court will often find that there is not objective evidence supporting the allegations. In such instances a Supplemental Petition to Change Child Custody, based solely on the criminal accusations, will often be denied.
The more it appears that a parent may engage in criminal conduct in the presence of a child then the more likely the Court will be to become concerned. Given the wide range of situations which can arise, it is best to discuss your matter with an attorney in order to gain an understanding of how the Court may rule. Counsel will review not only the charges against your ex, but they will also give you an understanding of how the Court may view the totality of the circumstances. I am a Melbourne child custody lawyer and I am also a former prosecutor. I understand the gravity of the situation and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation. I also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.