How do criminal cases interact with child custody cases?

Many factors go into making a child custody decision. Some individuals who are facing one of these cases worry that their criminal history might play a role in what the court determines is best for the children. While there are some circumstances that might make a difference, others won't have any impact on what happens.

The primary concern of the court in a child custody case is determining what's in the best interests of the children. Because of this, the judge will consider how the criminal history might affect the child's life moving forward.

How long ago was the criminal case?

The length of time that it's been since the criminal case can have an impact on what happens with the custody case because it might be assumed that the risk of you committing another crime is minimal if it's been a while since you've been involved in the criminal justice system. The court may also consider what types of rehabilitative acts you've completed. The key here is that the court will attempt to ascertain the likelihood of you committing a crime that directly impacts your children.

What type of charges were you facing?

Charges like domestic violence and other violent ones are likely going to have a bigger impact on the custody decision than more minor crimes. The circumstances of the incident will likely be considered. For example, the court will probably factor in a drug dealing conviction that involved circumstances including children much differently than a simple possession charge that involved only adults.

Are there any circumstances to consider?

If the children were present when any crime was committed, the court will certainly consider that. The court will take this very seriously because it sets a bad example for the kids. Criminal patterns will also be looked at since a person is typically more likely to reoffend when they've faced charges for the same thing several times and haven't changed their behavior. Because of this, individuals who have a child custody case should ensure they are staying out of legal trouble as much as possible.

One thing that's important to remember is that you should discuss the interaction between these cases with your attorney. They can help you to determine how to address the matters. Finding out your options can help you to decide what's the best course of action for your needs.

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