Criminal Offenses and How They Can Affect Your Parental Rights in CA

family law attorneyWhen it comes to differences of opinion, few areas are as contentious and challenging as custody/visitation disputes. In many cases, everyone involved just wants to look out for the involved children, and both parents might simply not see eye-to-eye on smaller specific details. 

The family law courts also want what’s best for the child. What does this mean when one or both parents have a criminal history? The short answer is that it depends on a few factors. Based on the circumstances and nature of a person’s criminal history, the family law courts could place restrictions on custody/visitation rights, or outright strip parental rights from an individual.

Severity / Nature of Crime

There are also many cases where the family law courts simply don’t factor a criminal offense into their decision. A lot of this depends on the nature of the crime itself. Non-violent crimes and minor offenses are not likely to raise any eyebrows. Violent crime however, especially offenses involving domestic violence, could push the courts towards protecting the child from a parent they consider to be dangerous or a risk.

Recency and Frequency of Criminal Activity

In addition to the nature of someone’s criminal offenses, the frequency and recency of crimes matters as well. If you had  a run-in or two with the law a long time ago, it’s not likely that the courts will consider this a pattern or regard you as someone who is prone to committing new offenses. However, if you were just charged or if there is a pattern of arrests/citations, this erodes the courts’ confidence in an individual to be able to look after and care for their child.

Family Law Courts Take Steps to Protect the Well-Being of a Child

Ultimately, the courts will do what they think is best for the safety, well-being, and overall happiness of the child. While they want children to have a strong, good relationship with both parents, the courts will not jeopardize the safety of a child if and when they see that one parent has an extensive or problematic criminal history. 

Keep in mind that your divorce is just one of many that they will process, and its critical that everyone gets a fair shake regardless of their past. Make sure your case gets the attention it needs with the help of a reputable family law attorney, someone who can ensure that the facts are not misrepresented.

At R & S Law Group, LLP, we help protect clients’ interests, as well as those of their loved ones, during every step of the way. We can help you with any and all custody disputes/issues, regardless of your past criminal background or any other extraneous circumstances. Call us today at (949) 825-5245 to book a free initial consultation.