Effects of Having A Criminal Record on Child Custody

One of the major issues being settled in a divorce case is child custody. When it comes to determining who gets custody, court decision will always boil down on the best interest of the child. Determining child custody can be a long and drawn out battle between the spouses. When one of the parents has a criminal conviction in their record, it could have a huge impact on the child custody case. If a parent has a previous criminal record, their history can play a huge role in their child custody case. Its effects on child custody will depend on several factors such as:

  • The victim of the offense
  • Type of offense
  • Age when the offense was committed
  • Nature of the sentence
  • Multiple convictions

If you have a criminal record and is in a child custody case, the judge will want to look at the identity and relationship of your previous victim. If the past offense caused emotional or psychological injury to one of your children, chances are the court could limit your custody and visitation rights. According to the website of Horst Law, the criminal conviction can haunt the parent for years and can affect their chances on getting a favorable decision on their child custody case. In making their decision, the judge will look at the nature of the conviction. If the previous crime involved crimes such as assault, battery, weapons offenses, stalking and others, this would make the court worry about anger management and violence issues which could affect the child custody case once the history of domestic violence has been established. This will make the court assume that you are a bad parent due to your history of abusive record.

The court may only award limited or supervised child custody. Likewise, drug or alcohol related violence can also affect the child custody case. You may be required to submit to a hair follicle test to determine whether you used drug use for several months. If you are tested positive for drug use, you may just be awarded with supervised visitation.


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