Divorce lawyer / mediator for child sex abuse/contentious divorce
Seeking legal advice and recommendations for skilled family law mediator or litigator.
My husband and I separated in 2017 after my discovery that he had sexually molested my daughter from my first marriage (his stepdaughter) more than 10 years prior. We also have a daughter who is his biological daughter, now a teen. After a failed attempt to try to heal the relationships with not very effective therapeutic treatment, we are going to divorce. I did not alert the authorities because he agreed to go into intensive counseling and the psychologist assessed he was an “opportunistic” offender and not likely to reoffend. Thus far he has steered clear of the criminal justice system, but he never “paid” for his crimes. And, now that we are on the brink of actual divorce, he imagines we should divide our assets equally, and I disagree; I do not think he morally has any right to a share of the home or marital assets when he has destroyed the marriage and our whole family with his actions, causing my daughter irreparable harm. I earn more money than him and recently he expressed a fear of being indigent if I do not share assets with him, and alluded to pursuing what he feels he is legally entitled to: half our house and half of my retirement savings. We are not well to do and have very little to begin with. He doesn’t have a job and has very little money, and has been living rent-free with family members these past few years while I have been paying the mortgage with full custody and care of our daughter. His assertion feels manipulative, predatory, even.
I do not want to see him in jail because of the impact on our daughter, but after causing us so much emotional and psychological devastation, his move to take what I see very much as property for our daughters feels repellent.
What legal solutions do I have? We can involve the criminal justice system, as I could have done from the very beginning—I did not want to see him in jail because of the impact on our daughter, but now that he is expecting financial support from us, his victims, I will do whatever it takes to stop him. Can my daughter bring a civil suit for damages against him and thus prevent him from from preying any further on our family?
When you divorce a person who has committed criminal acts, does that person have to be convicted first to have the court find in your favor when it comes to dividing the assets?
Thanks for any advice, sharing of similar experiences, or recommendations for mediators or lawyers.