Personal Injury Lawyer
With divorce on the horizon and a child custody battle sure to ensue, both parents are likely to be thinking about their past imperfections and how this may impact the custody verdict. While nobody is perfect, the family court judge is going to be focused on what kind of custody arrangement will be in the child’s best interest. Other factors will play a role in the decision as well, but the primary concern will be on what environment can provide a place for the growing child to be happy and healthy.
As a parent who has a past DUI conviction, you may worry that your ex spouse will use this against you in court and try to make you look like you are a bad person. For this reason, it is recommended that an attorney, like a DUI lawyer in San Francisco, CA from the Morales Law Firm, is sought to offer advice before your child custody hearing.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Aside from the embarrassment of a DUI arrest, someone charged with this offense may have to serve jail time, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and endure a tarnished reputation in their workplace, and among friends and family. A parent who is fighting to obtain child custody must be prepared for their ex spouse to use this against them when in the presence of the family court judge.
Effects On The Child Custody Outcome
It would be a lie to say that your DUI conviction won’t have an effect on your child custody battle. This is even more true if your child was in the vehicle when you were arrested for DUI, as the court will view this as you were putting your child in jeopardy of harm. Additionally, in many cases of DUI arrests, the accused suffers from some degree of alcohol addiction or dependency. The court will investigate further into what happened and ask about whether you have taken steps towards recovering from an alcohol problem.
A past DUI charge isn’t always an immediate deal breaker to the court. Maybe your DUI arrest happened many years ago, before you were married or had children. Perhaps you had a blood alcohol content of 0.08% and have shown remorse and regret, so much so to where you enrolled in an alcohol rehabilitation program the very next day. With help from your attorney, there are ways to show that your past DUI conviction won’t impair your ability to be a great parent to your child.
Legal Custody vs Physical Custody
If you are pursuing legal custody of your child, the court may not view your DUI conviction as an influencing factor in the outcome, since you will only be responsible for making decisions on your child’s education, medical care, and hobbies and not living with them. However, if you are seeking physical custody, then the court may need convincing that placing them into your care is the right choice, since you will have to drive them to school everyday, ensure their daily needs are met, and this may be difficult to do while struggling with an alcohol problem.