How a Criminal Record Can Affect Child Custody Rights

No one wants to have a criminal record. It wreaks havoc with one’s career, personal life, financial status, and travel plans, to name a few. But when one is in the middle of a divorce, how a criminal record can affect child custody rights may be the one of the most importance.

A criminal record is usually for life; expungement is only for special cases, and never for certain offenses. So even if the criminal charges are years old, it can still have an effect when it comes to a fight for child custody if a conviction results from it. The law varies from state to state, but in general, a criminal record is not a good way to win a child custody case. It would therefore be in the best interest of a parent to avoid being convicted of any crime, and especially for particular crimes.

If a situation arises where a parent would like to clear their record, it is possible with the guidance of a expungement lawyer. This would be helpful before going to court if you are going through a divorce.

Child custody cases are often decided based on what a judge rules to be in the best interest of a child. These are not set in stone, but parents who have been convicted of violent crimes such as domestic violence, assault, battery, or rape are usually not considered fit to ensure the emotional and physical safety of a child without supervision. A parent convicted of first degree murder is not usually allowed even visitation rights until the child is of an age to agree to it.

Even those convicted of non-violent crimes such as prostitution or burglary may be ineligible to be custodians because they may not be considered good role models for a child. There are always mitigating circumstances that a good divorce lawyer can put into play to argue and win a particular case before a judge, especially if the criminal conviction was a long time ago, but there is no guarantee. If facing criminal charges, it is always advisable to engage the best defense lawyer available to avoid or reduce any conviction as much as possible.