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What impact does my ex’s criminal record have on custody?

| Apr 15, 2020 | Child Custody |

If you and your ex have split up and you’re having difficulty working out a parenting plan among yourselves, then you may need to ask a judge to step in and make decisions for you instead. This may be easier said than done though. It’s the responsibility of the Fort Myers family law judge presiding over your Florida case to make decisions that they believe are in the best interest of your child. This focus could result in your criminal ex being allowed to continue doing their part to raise your son or daughter.

Judges focus on several factors to determine what visitation or custodial arrangement is in the best interest of the child. They generally try to determine which parent might be able to provide the most stable home environment.

The court may ask if either parent has been physically or emotionally abusive in the past. It’s not uncommon for the judge to ask about a parent’s previous or current alcohol or drug use either or if they’ve ever committed or have been subjected to domestic violence at home. A parent’s response to these questions may impact what a judge believes is in the child’s best interests.

Judges may view a parent’s past driving under the influence (DUI) conviction as a potential safety concern. They may also look upon a parent’s domestic violence past poorly. This is especially the case if that parent’s conviction involved a child, even if it wasn’t their own. This information can greatly impact how the court renders a decision in a Fort Myers case. If the situation is particularly egregious, then the judge may terminate a mom or dad’s parental rights.

If a parent is currently out on probation or parole, then this may affect their ability to retain custody of their child. This may happen if the restrictions placed on the parent limit the son or daughter’s liberties.

Florida judges weigh the seriousness of the offense, how long ago it occurred and what type of rehabilitation efforts that a parent has made before rendering any decision in a child custody case. A parent’s criminal record can impact a judge’s decision if the offense is minor or it happened long ago. A child custody attorney can advise you about the weight that your ex’s conviction may have on their ability to retain visitation or custodial rights with your son or daughter.

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