How DUI Convictions Affect Your Chances Of Custody
A charge or conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) isn't good for anybody, but it's particularly damaging for parents fighting for their children's custody. The DUI conviction makes it difficult for you to convince the court of your ability to raise a child properly. Here are specific ways in which a DUI conviction may damage your chances of getting child custody:
Drug Offenses Raise Red Flags
Drug-related offenses reduce your chances of getting child custody. Courts believe that parents with drug problems may put their child's life in danger. Therefore, if your DUI issues reveal a history of drug or alcohol abuse, you will have a hard time convincing the court to give you custody. For example, the judge may fear that you may drive while intoxicated with your minor child as a passenger. Increase your chances of getting custody by proving that it was a one-off incident.
Incarceration Prevents Physical Custody
Aggravated DUI convictions can send you to jail. Getting incarcerated means you will be unavailable to have physical custody of your child. This means your spouse will have custody of the child for your duration of incarceration. Don't expect automatic restoration of your custody rights when you come out of jail; you have to fight for it and prove that it is in the best interests of the child, and not just your wishes. At the same time, it's much difficult to regain custody than most people think.
License Suspension Presents Logistical Challenges
One of the most common punishments for DUI convictions is to have the driver's license suspended. This can present logistical challenges that make it difficult for you to have custody of your child. For example, without the license, it will be difficult to drive the child to school or take them to medical checkups (this is a stronger reason for a child with special needs). In such cases, it is better for the child to stay with the parent who can provide the required transportation services.
It Shows Irresponsibility
Lastly, driving while intoxicated shows irresponsible behavior because it puts the lives of road users at risk. The argument is that if you can do this one irresponsible thing, who is to say that you cannot engage in other irresponsible behaviors that may risk the child's life? Responsibility is a big issue when it comes to custody battles; irresponsible parents have a hard time getting custody.
You need a seasoned custody lawyer to help you get custody of your child under these circumstances. The lawyer will help you to refute the negative allegations the other parent or judge may make. At the same time, they will help you prove how the child's best interests are best served by having them live with you. For more information, contact a family lawyer.