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Why does a man who is a sex offender, violent felon and violent repeat offender still have the right to his child?

Spokane, WA |

This man just got out of prison for serving time for a violent felony, he has a record that starts at age 12 with the rape of young girls. Now he wants to be able to have joint custody with a child he hasnt seen in over 5 years. The child is now 7 and has told the counselor he is scared to see his father again and does not want to do it. This man was also found guilty of DV against the mother in front of the boy and found guilty of abusing the other boy who was not his. He has not paid child support ever, or any guardian fees. Why are we fighting to protect the boy when this man has proved he is not fit to be a parent, around children, or even in society? It seems like he should be fighting to get his rights back instead we are fighting to have them taken away.

He has not even been out of prison for a year and has already been sent back for violating his probation.

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Attorney answers 5


This is not a criminal defense question. This is a question you need to ask legislators when it comes to family law and the way they decide custody issues.


Because the US Supreme court has ruled that parenting is a fundamental right that cannot be terminated unless the State acts to do so pursuant to the law.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements



Thank you for your answer. It is chilling to me that so many children are being put into life threatening situations based on this ruling. I wonder if this will ever change and how one would go about changing it...I will keep researching. I'm really glad I found this site. Thanks again.


It is fustrating when you want something, and the answer is obvious, that you have the burden of proving your case. You state that the Father has "proven" he's unfit; ironically, the burden is on you to prove who the Father is. That takes time, effective communication, concentration and admissiable evidence. You can do it. It certainly is worth it and beats the alternative, doesn't it? Good luck.


This is a family law question. As noted above, every parent has a fundamental right to parent his or her kid; however, the "best interests of the child" can change that if . . . in Washington state one of the factors the court is obliged to consider when determining custody / visitation issues is whether the parent has a violent felony on his record. You need to hire an experienced family law attorney. Most likely this attorney will be able to limit visits to supervised. Then the father will have to prove to the supervisor that he can respond appropriately to his child's needs. The fact is, if this guy has no funds and is pro se, and you (or the other parent, grandparents don't have standing) come in with an attorney, the chances of him obtaining unsupervised visits are slim. Good luck! I do want to note, though, that there is no point in going in front of a family law judge and trying to have the dad's rights taken away; s/he is not permitted to do so without a formal finding of unfitness, which is an action brought by CPS, not by the other parent.

Unless and until we sign an agreement for legal services, I am not your attorney. Contact me at 509-951-2514 or for a free consultation. The information contained in this answer is not intended as legal advice applicable to your case or situation, as I don't represent you or know your facts.


Because he has his right to his day in court. His rights will be balanced against what is in the child's best interests. Have faith in the system.

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