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A father who has full custody of his child now. And gets charged with rape. Can he keep the full custody?

Miami, FL |

CHarged with rape and drug possesion. Mother of the child files for a custody hearing to get full custody but he takes care of the child mainly.

Attorney Answers 1


The circumstances that you describe are very serious and will be very concerning to the court. If the arrest and charge are brought to the attention of the family law judge by means of a petition for modification, the court is going to be concerned with the best interest and, frankly, safety of the child. It is essential that you consult with and, likely, retain an attorney to best preserve your rights in this matter.

It is essential that you understand the difference of the standard of proof in criminal court and family law court. In the criminal court, the charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In family law court, it is only a preponderance of the evidence (more than 50%). This means that while someone may be found not guilty in the criminal court on a charge of rape or drug possession, they could still be found to have committed the act(s) in family law court and could, therefore, lose "custody" of the child.

Eileen D. Jacobs, Esq.
Office: 2505 W. Virginia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 877-9600
Mailing: P.O. Box 14953
Clearwater, Florida 33766-4953
(727) 787-6595

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what about if she granted full custody can he still have visitation rights or would it have to be supervised?

Eileen D. Jacobs

Eileen D. Jacobs


This is a very fact specific question, meaning that the answer could be very different depending on all of the facts and not just considering some of the facts. The judge may look at whether the father was actually convicted of the criminal charges, whether the children were present at the time of the alleged crime(s), whether there was actual violence (e.g. was the rape at gunpoint or knife point, what type of personal and criminal history does the father have, etc. Again, I strongly suggest that an attorney is given the opportunity to review all of the pertinent facts and advise accordingly. Eileen D. Jacobs

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