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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Federal Law Protecting Rape Victims As To Child Custody

Written by Amar Weisman » July 29, 2015 »

In a sketch that was done several months ago, The Daily Show brought the issue of the lack of adequate protections for female rape victims and their children to the attention of many who had never even thought about the problem before. Most people would be shocked to learn that in some states, rapists are allowed to gain custody of the children resulting from the rape. However, a new federal law seeks to change that.

According to the National Journal, the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act (hereinafter “the Act”) is a law that is geared toward motivating states to “pass laws that give mothers -- who conceived their children as a result of rape -- the chance to take away the parental rights of their rapist.” Surprisingly, there are many states that do not have such laws in place.

How the Law Came About
Two women (one who is an attorney and the other, a rape survivor) led the charge to make the Act a reality. The law stems from the case of Santosky vs. Kramer -- a case that progressed all the way through to the U.S. Supreme Court. From that case, a standard was born. That standard calls for the need for “clear and convincing evidence” in order to take away a man’s parental rights.

The rape survivor who helped lead the charge for the law decided to have her baby; however, her rapist sought to obtain custody of the child. That is what prompted her to fight for not only her rights under Florida law, but the rights of other rape victims all across the country. Ultimately, Florida approved a law that soon became the model for the federal law.

What Does It All Mean?
It should be made clear that the law does not automatically give a woman the opportunity to stop a rapist from seeing his child. Rather, it gives states that decide to pass laws related to parental-custody limitations up to 10 percent more grant money -- most of which would be used to support programs that help women who have survived sex crimes.

Even with all this attention, not every state is pursuing such laws; however, legislators in Maryland have noted that they are working hard to pass a law that would dictate custody in rape cases. Rape victims who become pregnant as a result of the rape are encouraged to speak to a well-versed Towson family law attorney who can properly advise them and help them present their cases in a court of law.

With the help of an attorney, a rape victim may be able to get the rapist’s parental rights revoked so that he will lose his ability to even seek custody in the first place. If you or someone you love has been raped and has had a child from that rape, contact the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC right away. Let us help you fight your attacker in a court of law and ensure that your rights under the law are protected.

Call For a Free Consultation 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore & Towson Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.