Elkouri Heath, PLC


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Will My Criminal Record Affect My Custody Case?

 Posted on January 14, 2024 in Family Law

MI custody lawyerBeing involved in a child custody dispute is enough to frighten any parent. If you have a criminal record, you might be feeling nervous about whether your history will impact your child custody case. Rest assured that while the court may consider your conviction, merely having a record does not mean that you will lose custody of your child. The nature of your conviction is more important than the existence of a conviction. If you were caught using marijuana before it became legal, or you got a DUI fifteen years ago before you became a parent, it is highly unlikely that your case would have any real effect on your current child custody case. However, if you were convicted of a crime that suggests you may be a danger to your child, the court is more likely to see it as a serious issue. It is critical to be represented by a skilled Novi, MI, child custody lawyer if you have a criminal record. 

Minor Offenses and Child Custody

You are far from the only parent with a conviction the court overseeing your case has seen. In most cases, minor and nonviolent charges are seen as a non-issue. Courts recognize that many good parents have made mistakes and learned from them. You likely do not need to worry much if your conviction is a misdemeanor other than domestic violence.

Although white-collar crimes like embezzlement or fraud are often felonies, the court may not believe that such an offense has any bearing on your ability to parent. Additionally, the further in the past your conviction was, the less likely it is to matter now. 

Family Violence Convictions

A domestic violence conviction can impact your custody case. Courts make decisions based on what is in the best interest of your child. Michigan child custody law specifically states that a court is to consider it if one parent has a domestic violence conviction. This is due to the fear that an adult who hits their partner may also become violent towards a child. 

Crimes Against Children

If you have been convicted of any crime against a child, such as child endangerment, DUI with a child in the vehicle, or child abuse, the court is unlikely to give you unsupervised parenting time. This is because Michigan courts are required to make all decisions in the best interests of the child, and the court will probably consider you a danger to your child even if you know you are not. 

Sex Offenders in Custody Disputes

Unfortunately, the court is likely to take any sexually oriented offense very seriously when determining whether a parent is safe for their child to be around. If your offense had anything to do with the sexual abuse of a child - including child pornography - the court will likely be quite reluctant to allow you to spend time alone with your child. 

Contact an Oakland County, MI, Child Custody Attorney

Elkouri Heath, PLC is dedicated to helping all parents foster a loving relationship with their children. Our caring team of Novi, MI, child custody lawyers will fight to help you receive the most time with your child possible. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation. 

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