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If I Have a Criminal Record, Will it Affect My Child Custody Case?

Posted on in Child Custody

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. 

Contact a North Texas Child Custody Lawyer

Law Office of Philip W. Moore, Jr. is committed to helping parents maintain strong bonds with their children. Our dedicated Collin County child custody attorneys will do everything we can to help you spend the most possible time with your child. Call us at 972-954-6455 to start with a free consultation. 




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