We previously began looking at child custody disputes where there are allegations of rape. In states which allow for the termination of parental rights in such circumstances, one of the first orders of business is paternity. If paternity can be confirmed, it is then a question of whether there is any evidence of rape.
As we noted last time, there is no law in Alabama which allow for the termination of parental rights in cases where there are allegations of rape. For this reason, it is all the more important for rape victims to work with an experienced attorney to minimize the amount of parenting time the court allows for the accused parent.
In any child custody case, the best interests of the child is the central factor the court will consider in any custody arrangement. Although Alabama courts do not have authority to terminate the parental rights of a parent based on accusations of rape, they can order a custody arrangement in which the child has minimal contact with the accused parent, if it is in the best interests of the child. Parents facing such a situation should secure experienced legal counsel to advocate for their interests in such cases.
By the same token, parents who have been falsely accused of rape should seek experienced legal counsel not only with any criminal proceedings which arise in connection with accusations of rape, but also with respect to child custody proceedings. An experienced advocate can work to minimize the impact of rape allegations on the court’s custody determination.