Can my Previous Criminal History Affect my Child Custody Arrangement?

It absolutely can. How much your criminal record can affect your child custody arrangement depends on a few factors. These factors are as follows:

  • The type of offense

  • The number of offenses

  • The victim of your offense

  • The age of the offense

The purpose of a child custody arrangement after a divorce is to promote a consistent, safe relationship between the child and both of his or her parents. The choices and restrictions the court makes for a family’s custody arrangement are made with the child’s best interest in mind. The most important concern when a parent has a criminal record is how this criminal history can affect his or her child. Recent offenses, violent offenses, and offenses that involve the child or another child can have a much more significant impact on an individual’s custody arrangement than older and nonviolent offenses.

Always discuss your criminal history with an experienced attorney before you go to court to determine your child’s custody. Your attorney will be able to advise you about how your previous charges and convictions could potentially affect your child’s custody determination.

The Nature of your Offense

This is the most important issue to consider. If your offense was violent, it will most likely affect your child custody arrangement. Certain nonviolent offenses, such as a drug-related offense, can also affect your child custody arrangement, especially if they are recent.

Whether you received treatment after your offense can play a role as well. If you struggled with drug addiction in the past, then completed a rehabilitation program, this can reflect positively on your ability as a parent.

The age of the offense can also be important in showing whether you have grown and changed since it occurred. An old offense will play a much smaller role than a recent offense.

New charges and convictions can be cause to alter an existing custody arrangement. If you are facing a criminal charge, no matter what it is for, contact your attorney immediately to discuss how it could affect your custody order.

Experienced New Jersey Family Attorneys Can Help

For guidance as you navigate the child custody determination process, contact The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at 732-370-9596 to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm. We serve clients throughout Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, and Burlington counties. Let us advocate for you and represent your interests in family court.

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