When determining custody of a child, the courts will look at a criminal record. This also pertains to criminal convictions. Additionally, a new partner’s criminal record will come under scrutiny if your child often interacts with the new partner.
Under Texas Family Code Section 153.002, the courts must make custody decisions based upon what they deem is in the best interests of child. A parent’s character and propensities – such as a propensity toward crime – are major determining factors when deciding what kind of custody arrangement is in the child’s best interest.
Custody of a Child When You Have a Criminal Record Isn’t Impossible
The courts may consider violent or child-related criminal charges or convictions as evidence that a parent is unfit or cannot provide the best atmosphere for the child. If the crime wasn’t considered a violent crime, however, it may not hold much weight in the court’s decisions.
The judge will look at the details as well as the big picture when making custody decisions. When regarding criminal charges, the courts will try to determine if and to what degree the parent’s past criminal activity will affect the life and wellbeing of the child.
If your ex attempts to use your charges or convictions as evidence against you in court, this doesn’t mean the custody of your child is automatically revoked because of a criminal record.
The judge will look at factors such as:
- how long ago you were convicted;
- the type of crime;
- the nature of your sentencing; and
- the existence of repeat offenses.
If your crime was violent or if you have a notable rap sheet, it’s likely that this will hurt your custody case and curtail your parental rights. However, if the offense wasn’t violent in nature or was well in the past with no repeat offenses, old criminal charges might not affect your case at all.
Your New Partner’s Convictions
Not only can your ex use your past criminal convictions to try to prove you are unfit, but he or she also can try to use your new partner’s past criminal record as evidence against you.
If you have a new live-in partner or are routinely bringing someone around your child, and he or she has had a prior conviction, your new partner’s record could be closely reviewed in a custody case.
Again, though, the courts will look at the specifics of the crime. Only if the courts feel your new partner’s history has the potential to affect your child’s wellbeing will it impact your case. For instance, a white-collar banking crime 10 years ago likely will not impact your case much. On the other hand, drug charges on school property last year likely will.
Child Custody Attorneys at Warren & Migliaccio Help Plano Parents
If you want custody of your child and you have a criminal record – or your new partner has any type of past charges or convictions – you’ll want to consult an attorney to help you build your defense and demonstrate to the courts that you can provide a safe, loving home for your child. You do not want to allow your ex to successfully paint a negative picture of you for the judge.
For noted child custody attorneys in Plano, contact Warren & Migliaccio today for a free, no-obligation consultation – 888-584-9614.