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.

Dealing with the Threat of Foreclosure

There are many ways of dealing with the threat of foreclosure. Most people just let it happen, unable to believe how fast things went wrong, and preferring to deal with more immediate and manageable problems. Others borrow from friends and family to buy more time to try and save their home from foreclosure. Others turn to professionals for help, and this can take several forms. Many foreclosure defense experts can suggest several legal options to delay or suspend foreclosure. Most homeowners have only the vaguest ideas about the terms of their mortgage, and would not know how to turn it to their advantage. A homeowner facing foreclosure may consider pursuing mortgage modification. If there is something hinky about the mortgage agreement itself, it could be a case of filing a claim based on a violation of the Truth in Lending Act.

If these two are not possible, the firm may also suggest filing for bankruptcy if the homeowner qualifies for either Chapter 13 or 7 bankruptcy. Most states, including Iowa, may exempt the primary home from a Chapter 7 filing and forgive the debt, or with a Chapter 13 filing, foreclosure may be considerably delayed. There are also cases where the market value of the property is less than the balance of the mortgage because the real estate market plunged considerably in the last few years. While it may be a wrench to let go of the property, especially if payment has already been made for several years, cutting losses may be the smartest thing to do.

Some professionals, after due consideration of the market trend in the area and the amounts involved, may suggest a short sale. A short sale involves selling the house at market value or less, and giving the proceeds to the mortgage holder. The lender has to agree to lift the lien on the property in order to get it sold. In most cases, the homeowner still owes the lender the balance, and the lender can choose to forgive the debt or demand payment. In the case of the former, the homeowner may still be liable for taxes on the forgiven debt. However, if handled properly, the amounts concerned will definitely be less, and the credit score will no longer reflect unpaid debt. Dealing with the threat of foreclosure can be highly stressful. The best way to handle such situations is to get the advice of experts to get a realistic view of a particular situation. Though short sale is a viable option, it’s not for everyone. If you are considering refinancing, bankruptcy may be the best option for you depending on your case.