Annually, close to 700,000 people in the United States are arrested for driving under the influence. If you are currently in the midst of a child custody case, a DUI could negatively affect your proceedings. Children’s custody cases are largely governed by state discretion. With this in mind, the state retains the legal duty to consider a child’s best interest when making its custody decisions.
The divorce process depends on how amiable the divorcing parents think about the situation. It can be simple or stressful and time-consuming. The custody agreement between divorced parents is never set in stone, and a DUI could change a previously settled case. To learn more about how a DUI can affect your custody, keep reading.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Prior DUI’s & Custody
- Post Negotiation DUI
- Tips & Tricks to Help Your Case
- Receive Professional Legal Assistance with The Cassell Firm
Prior DUI’s & Custody
During child custody negotiations, a parent who has a record of a DUI or DWI before divorce proceedings should expect this history to be brought up. In order to determine whether the parent poses a threat to the safety and wellbeing of the children in the case, the state will need to determine whether the parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Multiple DUI convictions on a parent’s record can be very convincing evidence they pose a risk to their children. This scenario would likely lead to the opposing parent securing majority or physical custody of the children. In order to ensure that children receive a safe, stable upbringing, the state considers the financial circumstances, criminal histories, and relationships of the parents. With this in mind, parents’ past, present, and future behaviors can easily influence a child custody agreement.
Post Negotiation DUI
In addition, a parent who receives a DUI or DWI after gaining custody of their children may jeopardize that custody right. In this case, a parent who currently holds partial custody or physical custody over their children may not lose custody for a single DUI.
However, in extreme cases, if the offense was especially serious, or the parent had their children in the car at the time, they may lose custody all together. DUI charges always tend to raise questions about dependency and abuse. DUI convictions tend to enable an opposing parent to seek a larger share of child custody in an appeal. If one parent is convicted of DUI, the other may use it as leverage.
Tips & Tricks to Help Your Case
Whether you have received a DUI violation during your divorce and child custody case, or your opposing ex-spouse has incurred such an offense, it’s always a good idea to know what you should do. It’s important to make sure your ex won’t put your children at risk if they are convicted of DUI.
If you have any doubts about your child custody agreement or your child’s safety, seek the advice of a divorce attorney. If you have been arrested for DUI for the first time, contact a DUI attorney immediately. By agreeing to attend substance abuse counseling or a drug and alcohol safety course for drivers, you may be able to avoid a DUI conviction.
With all of this in mind, it is always wise to avoid drinking whenever you are going through divorce proceedings and custody proceedings with your ex-spouse. As always, if your ex poses a threat to the safety of your children due to repeated drunk driving, you must take appropriate legal measures to protect them.
Receive Professional Legal Assistance with The Cassell Firm
Domestic disputes and legal issues involving spouses, children, and other family members can be the most devastating times in a person’s life. Whether you are considering divorce, have been denied visitation with your child by his/her other parent, have become involved in a child support or paternity dispute, are concerned about the welfare of children in your family, or are having trouble communicating or cooperating with an ex-spouse you are probably wondering if there will ever be any resolution to your problem.
Here at The Cassell Firm, we understand that your family is important to you and each case is unique and deserving of the same attention and care that we would give to our own families. When you are dealing with sensitive and personal family matters you will want an attorney that will be aggressive when needed, look out for your interests, and keep the preservation and future of your family in mind.