Even if you have a criminal conviction on your record, you love your child. No matter what problems you’ve had in your past, you want a favorable custody agreement. Unfortunately, a criminal record can seriously impact your future with your child. Here’s what you should know about criminal charges and how they can affect child custody. Furthermore, when dealing with criminal charges and child custody agreement, you’ll want assistance from a family law lawyer.
What Courts Consider When Deciding Child Custody?
Many factors impact a judge’s decision whether to grant custody. Criminal convictions merit special attention. The nature of the crime, how long ago the crime occurred, and who the victim was are prime concerns. Other variables include the type of sentence the parent received and whether there’s an observable pattern of lawbreaking.
Your odds of facing an unfavorable custody arrangement are high if your crime involved a family member. This is especially true if the victim was underage at the time of the incident. Family courts especially frown on crimes that involve drugs and alcohol. Depending on the circumstances, your parental rights may even be terminated.
What Types of Child Custody Arrangements Can Be Ordered?
Judges have wide discretion when figuring out what meets a child’s best interests. A court justice may issue:
- Sole custody to one parent
- Joint custody to both parents
- Visitation, either supervised or unsupervised to one parent
The ability to prove that you can create a stable and safe environment will deeply impact a judge’s ruling.
What Happens When You’re Charged With a Crime During Custody Proceedings?
Being charged with a crime while custody proceedings are underway is an added complication. In this situation, having a child custody family law lawyer fighting for you is imperative. An experienced lawyer can argue that the charges are irrelevant since you have not been convicted. Additionally, your legal representative may help negotiate acceptance of a lesser charge, which in turn will improve your odds of being granted custody.
How Do Expunged Records and Attorneys Impact Child Custody?
Surprisingly, getting a criminal conviction expunged will not improve your situation. No matter what, a judge will have full access to your criminal record and question the charge. A lawyer can help explain the nature of your conviction before a court. When done well, your current dilemma should have no bearing on the court’s ruling.
Don’t go to family court without a child custody lawyer by your side. Hiring one with solid experience is the best way to improve your odds of a favorable outcome. Contact a legal professional before stepping into court.
Obtaining legal counsel and support
The court can hold your past against you after you’ve paid your debt to society. When a judge considers what’s in the best interest of a child, the circumstances of your criminal record are worth reviewing. However, you may assert your rights and defend your character if child custody arrangements or modification are what you want. Guidance from a child custody family law lawyer to handle these matters in family law court is advisable, such as seeking guidance from a family law lawyer that works with child custody and criminal defense matters, like our friends at The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright.