A parent has a felony conviction for injury to a child (her own), and court ordered probation papers state no unsupervised visitation with children for several years. Same said parent is now the respondent on a divorce, but nowhere in these divorce papers is this supervision stipulation or conviction addressed. Does this just work on the honor system and if nobody tells the judge then he could possibly grant standard visitation? The petitioning spouse did not know what the probation papers stated until we recently found them online, so respondent has been visiting them unsupervised since the break up until recently going back to jail. If petitioning parent brings conviction papers to court is that enough?
Even if the family court is not aware of the condition and even if the family court grants visitation... this would not grant permission to violate probation.
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Call the probation officer.
Petitioning spouse probably should have had a lawyer or gotten the probation paperwork earlier in the game, but I'm not seeing anything to allow the felon to violate her probation.
Talk to (or hire) your lawyer TODAY. It may be that you should deny further possession and file a modification to the divorce decree.
This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.
Howe would the judge know about the prior conviction? I suggest you hire a lawyer, allege the prior conviction and request supervised visitation. Whatever you do, DO NOT agree to standard or unsupervised visitation at mediation....
I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation. Call me if you would like to discuss this or other isues.
The family courts and criminal courts don't automatically communicate with each other about people with cases pending in each. So, if no one knows about the probation condition imposed by the criminal court judge, it is very likely that the family court judge would never know about it. But even if the family court judge issued an order allowing standard visitation, that doesn't mean the defendant is free to ignore the criminal court's order. He'll have to comply with both of them. If he violates the terms of his probation, the criminal court judge is likely to revoke that probation - regardless of what the divorce decree says about visitation.
But to avoid confusion, the best thing to do is to get a certified copy of the judgment and probation order, showing the conviction and no unsupervised contact condition. Then file a motion for temporary orders or petition to modify (your post doesn't really make clear where in the process the divorce case is) the possession schedule and conditions, schedule a hearing and, at that hearing, show the certified copies of the criminal court orders to the family court judge.
A judge will not automatically overrule a judgment that was sent to him by an Agreed Order. However the judge has jurisdiction over the case until the child reaches the age of 18 year, marries or become emancipated. This matter should be brought to the judges attention by an Emergency Motion to Modify the judgment, based on a previous order of felony conviction. A certified copy of the conviction will meet the requirement for admissibility of the conviction & court ruling into evidence for the Family Court to review
I dont know what stage the case is in. Usually you have to raise your new concerns after there is a final decree of divorce by filing and serving a petition to modify. This matter is serious enough that you need to get a lawyer involved.
Ms. Laster practices in Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tarrant Coun
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