location6160 Warren Pwky, Suite 100, Frisco, TX 75034
Call for a Free Consultation

phone972-954-6455

North Texas Family Law AttorneyChild custody cases can be very emotionally charged. Both parents are often eager to prove that spending time with them is in the child’s best interests. If you have a criminal record, you may be feeling quite anxious about how it could affect your ability to get custody of your child, especially if the other parent has no criminal history. Courts in Texas always strive to do what is best for the child and to keep them in a safe and suitable environment. While this does mean that courts will consider a parent's criminal history, they are mainly concerned with whether the parent is presently safe for the child to spend time with. If you are facing a custody battle and have a criminal record, you will want to have an experienced family law attorney representing you. A criminal history is far from a hard bar to gaining custody, but it can impact your case. 

What Factors Will the Court Consider When One Parent Has a Criminal Record?

Not every criminal offense suggests that a parent is unfit to raise their child. Everyone makes mistakes in life, and a criminal record does not mean that you are not a good parent. In assessing how your criminal history may impact your ability to parent your child, courts consider: 

  • Timing - If your offense happened a long time ago, it will have much less of an impact. Judges do realize that people can learn from their mistakes and go on to live a law-abiding life as productive members of society. However, if your conviction was more recent or you have charges pending, this may have more of an impact on your custody case. 
  • Nature of offense - The type of crime you committed is extremely relevant. Crimes that suggest you could be a danger to your child can have an enormous impact on your case. Violent offenses or charges like child endangerment or possession of child pornography may suggest to the judge that you should not have a child in your care. Family violence charges in particular can hurt your chances. However, crimes that do not suggest that you would endanger a child, like shoplifting or minor cannabis possession, will have less of an impact. 
  • Repeat offenses - If you have a long list of criminal convictions, this will affect your custody case much more than if you have only one or two offenses on your record. Having multiple convictions may suggest to the court that you are engaged in a pattern of criminal behavior that a child should not be exposed to. 

If you got one simple DUI fifteen years ago, you probably have very little to worry about in your custody case. However, if you have a long or recent record that suggests you may be a danger to your child, seeking custody may be a lot more difficult. 

...

Collin County Child Custody LawyerMany parents seek to pursue what they call “full custody” of their child in a Texas divorce or custody modification. However, Texas law actually does not use the terms “custody” or “visitation” - instead, a parent’s legal relationship with their child is split into two areas: Conservatorship, meaning the right to make decisions for the child, and possession, or time spent with the child. In our last blog, we cover Texas’s treatment of child custody in fuller detail. 

It is important to know that Texas only terminates one parent’s rights if he or she meets the grounds for termination under the Family Code - not because parents dislike each other or disagree with each others’ parenting methods. In this blog, we will examine some of the rare situations in which a parent may be able to get full parental rights that exclude the other parent. 

When Can a Texas Court Terminate a Parent-Child Relationship? 

Texas courts take children’s well-being very seriously and try to allow children to have productive relationships with both parents whenever possible. However, in some circumstances, it may be impractical or even dangerous for a child to spend time with one of their parents. According to Texas law, these situations include, but are not limited to, a parent who has: 

...

North Texas Child Custody LawyerParents want what is best for their children. Whether you are an unmarried parent or a parent planning to divorce, you probably have several questions about child custody in Texas. Who your child will live with and how significant decisions about the child’s upbringing will be made are essential concerns during a Texas divorce. Read on to learn about child custody laws and what to do if you need help with child custody concerns.

Legal Custody and Physical Custody

Each state handles child custody slightly differently. In Texas, “legal custody” refers to parents’ decision-making authority. Parents with legal custody have the right to decide where their children will go to school, what type of healthcare the children receive, whether the children go to church or participate in other religious practices, and more.

Physical custody refers to where the child lives and which parent cares for the child on any given day. The Texas Family Code calls custody “conservatorship,” but the term child custody is still used informally in this blog for clarity purposes.

...
Back to Top