How Does a DUI Charge Affect Child Custody?

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By Daljit, Guest Author - August 09, 2015

DUI ARREST.jpgFighting to retain child custody rights can be quite a complex process. It gets worse if you are facing a DUI (driving under the influence) charge because it can be used against you.

In short, apart from suffering embarrassment, serving time in jail or paying fines, the effects of a DUI offense have far reaching implications concerning access to your children in a court of law. So how does a DUI charge affect child custody?

How a DUI Impacts Chances of Obtaining Child Custody:

A DUI charge can hurt your child custody fight severely. Alcohol abuse is one of the issues that come up in many custody disputes. Thus, facing a DUI charge can also serve as evidence of an allegation of alcohol abuse meaning that you pose a significant risk to children.

Ultimately, you must ensure that you have the best criminal defense attorney for your DUI case to either bring down the charges or get you a not guilty charge. The main reason a DUI impacts your chances of obtaining child custody is because this is used to determine or gauge your moral fitness as a parent.

Will a DUI Affect a Case for Child Custody?

A DUI charge is not always a deal breaker for child custody cases depending on the existing circumstances, your behavior, and your background. Although your spouse may want to make an issue of your DUI case to have the case ruled in their favor, the court will also look into your past. Thus, if DUI cases are not rampant in your past, then it is likely that it will have a lesser impact on your custody case.

In the event that it is the only offense, or you have previously complied with the sentence and have no issues with alcohol and drugs, then it is likely that the judge will not use it against your custody case. You will also do well to show that you have since gone for treatment or have received alcohol counseling and are a reformed member of the society. Be sure to have aggressive and experienced defense lawyers on your team. Remember your spouse does not want to lose that custody battle either.

What Are the Effects of DUI Convictions on Custody Battles?

The effects of a DUI conviction on your custody battle will depend on the kind of custody that you are interested in. The outcome may be different for legal custody than for physical custody.

• If you are seeking a legal child custody, it is unlikely that your DUI conviction will affect your custody battle. This is because it is believed that a DUI conviction would not affect your decision-making responsibilities on matters of religious education, tutoring, choice of schools, extracurricular activities, and cultural education, among other things.

• On the other hand, if you are seeking physical child custody you are likely to lose the fight because it can be argued that you may prefer drinking to socializing with your children, thus you will not be there for them and do not deserve to have them in your custody. Moreover, it can also be argued that you may also drive under the influence of alcohol with children on board thereby putting them at risk. Thus, while you may be able to cater for the children’s fees and other basic needs, you can be denied custody on this basis.

In conclusion, winning a child custody case when you have been convicted of a DUI offense is an uphill task. Ultimately, the judge often takes into account the interest of the child. Thus, ensure that you get the best criminal lawyers to help you fight the case.

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