Can I Still Get Custody of My Child with a Criminal Record?

Having a background of criminal convictions can have negative consequences on a person’s life. Not only may that person have to deal with penalties such as jail time, fines, less employment opportunities, and a tarnished reputation in their community, but they may wonder whether they even have a chance at being awarded custody of their children. Anyone with a criminal record who is going through a divorce or separation is strongly advised to speak with a child custody attorney, like a divorce lawyer Tampa, FL residents recommend, for a strategic way to go about pursuing child custody. 

Effect on Family Life

If you are someone who has a criminal record and is hoping for custody of your children, don’t lose hope. Many people with such backgrounds think that they are eligible to receive child custody or visitation rights, which may be far from the truth. When a mother or father goes to jail, the family at home may endure financial hardships and other challenges. A marriage may not survive the strain that this places on the family unit. In many cases, the convicted parent will have to work hard to rebuild their life and relationships which were damaged due to their behavior. 

Chances at Receiving Custody

Unless the crime you were convicted of entailed harm to your children, there is still a chance that you could be awarded at least partial custody. The family court judge will also be assessing whether you have learned from your past and how shown through your actions that you want a better life for yourself and family. If you are currently on parole or probation, seeking custody or visitation may be more problematic. Your attorney can evaluate your situation and offer advice on how best to showcase yourself to the judge.

If the crime you were convicted of didn’t have anything to do with a sex crime, then the judge may permit you to reunite with family or have partial custody. As time goes on and you don’t commit more crimes, the better chance you have at gaining more custody or visitation. Because of the complex nature of criminal cases and the effect on a family unit, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney for support. 

Other Factors in Child Custody

There are many factors that can impact your ability to get custody of your children. The main factor will be that you refrain from any further criminal activity whatsoever. Another influencing factor could be whether you have continued keeping up with child support payments. While in jail, you may have not had the means to fulfill child support, but it can help your case if you sought employment quickly after being released and have made a serious effort to pay back overdue amounts. 

If you are a parent with a criminal background, you may have changed your ways. You may worry that despite making an effort to be a better version of yourself, your criminal record will still follow you and prevent you from obtaining child custody. One of the best decisions you can make during this time is to hire an attorney who is experienced in both family law and criminal defense cases. 
Thanks to The McKinney Law Group for their insight into getting custody of your child if you have a criminal record.