Being a parent can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. There is something
to be said about raising a child and watching them grow up to be good
adults. However, sometimes people miss their opportunity to raise their
children. Many factors can affect your parenting rights, a main one being
arrests and criminal records. When a couple files for
divorce, the court determines how to divide custody of the children between the
pair. Prior arrest records can affect the way in which your rights are
What Are Parental Rights?
family law, parental rights refers to the ability of parents to decide on behalf
of their children. Biological parents usually receive these rights automatically,
while adoptive parents, foster parents, and legal guardians can request
General parental rights include:
- Visitation and contact rights
- The right to make contractual decisions on child’s behalf
- Right to physical and legal custody of the child
- Right to make medical and religious decisions for the child
These are inherent rights afforded to the parents of a child. They are
used to secure and allow for the offspring’s wellbeing and best
interests. When couples divorce, one parent might have an advantage if
the other spouse has a criminal record.
How Arrests Affect Parenting Rights
When a judge evaluates a divorce involving child custody matters, they
prioritize what is best for the child. Arrest records can influence their
decision and influence what they think of your parenting ability. Depending
on the extent of the crime charges, parenting rights can be limited or
Governing factors of child custody and arrests:
The offense – The court will look at what you were arrested for. Convictions involving
domestic abuse and substance abuse will hold more weight because these
issues will directly affect the child. Matters of domestic abuse indicate
problems with anger management and behavioral issues. Similarly, drug
abuse alters the moods/demeanor of an individual. The judge will question
the child’s safety when they are around you.
The victim – The court will be interested to know your relationship with the alleged
victim. How close were they to you? How did you know them? How did the
crime transpire? In matters of abuse and sexual violence, the judge wants
to know if your children were involved. If they were, this can potential
terminate your parenting rights.
Age of conviction – How old the conviction occurred can potentially affect your parenting
rights. If the incident happened years ago and was an isolated event,
the arrest may not negatively impact your case. However, if it was more
recent, it can have the judge question your ability to parent properly.
The number of arrests – Much like the age of the arrest, it is important for the court to evaluate
the number of times you have been arrested. A singular occurrence will
not have as much an influence as repeat offenses. The judge wants to ensure
the safety of the child and wants to know that you will not do anything
to be arrested while the child is in your custody.
We understand how important your children are to you. Sometimes, mistakes
happen which you regret. You should not have to pay for it years later.
If you have been arrested in a past and are going through a divorce, contact
our board certified family law specialist. We understand your apprehension
over how your arrest record will influence your custody case. We prioritize
our clients’ needs and really get to know them. That way, we can
represent them in the best light in court. For experienced legal representation,
San Bernardino child custody attorneys today.