How Does a Criminal Record Affect Child Custody?

If you have ever wondered if having a criminal record can affect obtaining custody of your children, the answer is that it all comes down to the specific details of your case.

Consulting with professional criminal defense attorneys is the best way to ensure you are well informed about every one of your options. This way, you can make the best decisions not only for yourself, but for your children as well. 

Gaining Custody with a Criminal Record and Understanding Your Options

It can be challenging to gain custody or visitation rights for your children if you have recently been released on parole. In some situations, you may not even be allowed to live in the same house as your children or have regular visitation.

There are a few factors that can affect your chances of obtaining custody while having a criminal record. Luckily, there are also steps that you can take to improve your situation and chances of gaining or maintaining custody.

If you have any questions at all about how your criminal record might affect your child custody case or your visitation rights, we highly recommend reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Custody and Visitation Rights

So long as your children were not involved in the crime in any way and the crime you committed was not of a sexual nature, there is a possibility you may be granted visitation rights. In some cases, you may even be able to gain shared custody.

However, for a judge to make this decision, the specific circumstances of your case must be assessed. It is best to work with a Tucson criminal defense lawyer to provide you with guidance on the best approach; hiring a reliable criminal defense law firm in Arizona is the best course of action.

Refrain from Criminal Behavior

To significantly improve the chances of obtaining custody of your child, you should refrain from criminal behavior. By showing a dedication to leading a law-abiding life, you can demonstrate that your life is moving forward after your criminal record. 

This improves your credibility in the eyes of the court; by avoiding involvement in criminal activities and prioritizing rehabilitation in your life, you will increase your chances of gaining visitation or custody rights to your children.

Always Pay Child Support

If it has been decided that you are to pay child support, each child support payment should be timely and consistent. This is essential in demonstrating how committed you are to your children’s well-being. 

While there are many reasons you might not be able to pay child support – whether you have been incarcerated, you have recently lost your job, or you’re disabled and unable to work – if you are unable to pay child support, it can have serious consequences on your custody case.

To avoid falling behind on payments and accumulating debt, you should ensure that you meet all of your financial obligations and modify your child support payment plan if necessary. A judge will view late child support payments negatively, so it is crucial to address this.

As soon as you can secure employment, your wages will be garnished to cover any unpaid child support that has accumulated since your release from prison. If the accumulation of back child support is significant, it can weaken your custody case.

Being unable to pay child support reflects negatively on your ability to fulfill your parental abilities, so it is a good idea to consult with an experienced child custody lawyer to guide you throughout the process if you cannot pay.

Contact Child Custody Lawyers

Being convicted of a crime is devastating, but losing custody or visitation rights to their children is a nightmare no parent wants to experience.

Thankfully, having a criminal record doesn’t necessarily mean you automatically lose your right to custody or visitation with your children.

In fact, the outcome of your custody case depends heavily on various factors that are unique to your particular situation. You should choose your defense attorney carefully – especially when it comes to your children.

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