Child Custody Battles for Parents With Criminal Records

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmChild custody decisions are tough and it could be even tougher if you have spent a while in prison. In any court of law in America, the decision will be in favor of the child’s best interests. Your child will play the most important role in your custody battle.

If the court finds that you were incarcerated, then it will first examine the residential status of both you and your spouse. Additionally, it will check the physical and mental condition of both of you.

Legal custody

Your incarceration in itself won’t be a ground for losing custody of your child, there are many other reasons which the divorce court considers. However, getting sole custody can be tough and you might have to settle for much less.

Parents with history of criminal record

In some households, getting partial custody of a child whose parents have done prison time can be next to impossible. In fact, they are not even allowed to stay in the same house where the child stays. If you are one such parent, then you should carefully consult your divorce lawyer and find a solution accordingly. Your visitation rights and child custody will depend on how serious your case is.

Sex offenders have a tough time getting child custody because society does not look upon such offenders too kindly. If your crime did not involve any sex-offense and if it also did not have to do anything with your child, then your chances are brighter. If you have refrained from further crime and stayed clean, the judge can most likely award you some custody. Getting accepted by your friends and family also becomes easier.

Working out a mediation plan

You need to work on a mediation plan with your ex-spouse and decide on custody and visiting hours.  If you have spent a considerable amount of time in prison, your chances might be slim. Then again, it depends on the court and the understanding between you and your ex-spouse.

Getting legal assistance

Whatever the case might be, get a good lawyer and seek expert advice. Even though you were incarcerated, you have certain rights, make sure you fully understand them before heading for a custody battle.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

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