A past error should not prevent a bright future

At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we believe that our clients deserve a chance to form healthy, happy families through positive involvement with their children. However, some people with sex offenses on their records might need to carefully navigate complex issues in Missouri child custody law to have a chance at this ideal future.

In a previous article, we mentioned that discussions of criminal history are often an important element of divorce and custody cases. Unfortunately, without solid legal and evidence-based arguments, most courts would likely assume that liberal contact with someone with a sex crime conviction was not in the best interests of a child. There are, however, some instances in which we believe a court would understand that a simple criminal record does not tell the entire story.

While a successful defense to initial sex crime charges would be our priority for any of our clients, we also know that some of these crimes have extenuating circumstances. We have seen convictions that are quite old, crimes that happened during an offender’s childhood and other situations that should cast doubt upon the relevance of the charge in determining child custody agreements.

We believe that the relevance of sex-offender status is especially questionable in terms of juvenile offenders. As explained in this article in the New Yorker, 95 percent of minors convicted of sex crimes never re-offend. 

You are unlikely to find easy answers when it comes to divorce. Custody of children, spousal support and division of assets and debts might already be complicated — even if you were not dealing with a criminal history. That is why we approach every case we accept with compassion and exacting attention to detail. Please read on by continuing to our main website.


FindLaw Network