Can you help us get full custody of my husbands children? 1 Answers as of January 17, 2011

My husband is currently involved in a custody battle with his ex for. The children live with my husband and I, and the mother has been charged with contempt of court for not paying what she owes for child support. My husband is willing to drop the charges if she will forgo her custody of the children. After that, I would adopt them. She hasn't seen the kids since August, when she brought her "boyfriend" into our home, knowing he had just got out of prison because of molesting a little girl. She then moved further away from the kids. She is not involved in their lives, and often tells them that she is coming to visit and never shows.

They were supposed to go to court recently, but she didn't come because she decided at the last minute to lawyer up, to give her more time to come up with $4,000.00 that she owes my husband for child support.

Recently, we found pictures of her, that she had posted on her facebook page, of her doing drugs, and admitting in the picture captions that, that is what she was doing. She is not someone that we want to have around my husband's children and she should not be able to have custody.

Can any of this information help us to get full custody of the children?

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Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
As a general rule, nonpayment of support is not a significant factor with respect to whether a court will order visitation, or order visitation to cease. Drug use that can be proven, in this case in the form of self published photographs, is a serious factor in visitation decisions, as is the presence or involvement of a boyfriend who has a conviction for child molestation. (If you have not already downloaded or printed the photos in question you should do so immediately.)

I think most courts would be willing to order that any visitation be supervised under these circumstances. With assurances that the boyfriend is not around the children and drug use is also not around the children, it some courts might permit supervised visits, though you may find some that would not.

Adoption cuts off the rights of the birth parent. In order to adopt the children, either the birth parent whose rights are being terminated must consent, or he or she must have, without justification, had no contact with the children, and paid no support, for at least one year prior to the adoption. It is possible in your case that she would agree to the adoption in exchange for waiver of the back support. If she is willing to do this, (and the support is owed to the father and not the state, as may be the case if there was public assistance involved) a step-parent adoption can be done fairly easily. If she is not willing to consent, it sounds like she has some ongoing contact with the children, and an adoption will probably not be possible.

The proper step now is probably to go to court to restrict the visitation of mother based on the concerns you have expressed. It is probably best that she is uninvolved and is not visiting lately. If she does exercise visitation in the future, I think most courts would be understanding of reasonable precautions on your part for the safety of the children, i.e. don't send them if the sex-offender-boyfriend is going to be around or if mother appears to be high.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 1/17/2011
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