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How does a criminal record impact a parent’s custody rights?

How serious is a criminal conviction when you’re a parent seeking custody of your child? Very serious.

Any criminal conviction on your record could impact your ability to retain custody of your child. A conviction could even result in the court depriving you of all visitation. Even merely facing charges could cause the court to limit you to supervised visitation — or worse.

How criminal conviction are weighed in custody cases

One important detail that the court weighs when determining custody is the stability of the home environment that you can offer. If the nature of your conviction involves violence, drugs or guns, the court may question whether or not you can provide a safe, stable home life for a child.

For example, a drug-related conviction can make a judge question whether you have an addiction that makes it hard to be an effective, reliable parent. They may also worry about the people around you and their influence on your children.

Likewise, if you’re facing drunk driving charges or have previously been convicted for DUI, the court may worry you’re an alcoholic. They may wonder if you’ll get in the car with your children while intoxicated and put their lives at risk. 

Similarly, domestic violence charges may lead a judge to worry about your child’s safety, especially if such acts involved them or were committed in front of them.

Fighting to preserve your relationship with your child

Even being charged with a crime can temporarily affect your custody and visitation rights. A conviction could be disastrous. You can fight back with the appropriate legal assistance. When your criminal charges and your custody rights collide, don’t hesitate to seek experienced guidance. 

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