Victims of Sexual Battery and Custody Disputes with their Attacker
In many states, if a victim of sexual battery decides to keep a child conceived through the attack, she could be forced to interact with her attacker regularly if he seeks visitation. Victims are also coming forward with horror stories of their attackers using the threat of custody actions to intimidate their victims into dropping criminal charges.
Twenty-one states do not have a statute that allows women to restrict the parental rights of men who impregnate them through sexual battery. Further, of the 30 states, that do protect women and their children conceived through sexual battery, 20 states require a conviction. More and more, women throughout the country are being forced to relive the crime committed against them, when their attacker files court documents for paternity and visitation of the child conceived through the attack.
Florida however is not one those states. Florida Statute 39.806 states, it is presumed that termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child if the child was conceived as a result of unlawful sexual battery. The petition for termination of parental rights under Florida Statute 39.806 may be filed at any time and the court must determine by clear and convincing evidence that the child was conceived as a result of sexual battery. This means that a criminal conviction is not required in Florida to terminate the parental rights of an attacker to the child conceived through the attack.
If you need representation for any family law issue, please contact The Wheelock Law Firm in Dr. Phillips, Orlando, Florida at 407-648-5742 to schedule a free initial consultation.