If you are going through a divorce, you might be worried about prior criminal convictions. If you think that your past might hurt your chances for a fair judgment when it comes to child custody, it is important to find a criminal defense attorney that can handle your case. By understanding the ins and outs of your criminal past, your lawyer can defend you in the best light in court. Here are four ways a lawyer can find success in playing down your criminal past for a successful custody hearing.
1. If Your Offense Occurred a Long Time Ago
If you have a secret criminal past, your spouse might dredge this up in court proceedings. Something that happened before you were married, had children, and is in the distant past hopefully won't hold much weight. If you are clearly a different person and have learned from your mistakes, secrets from long ago shouldn't haunt you too badly in a custody case.
2. If You Committed a Minor Criminal Offense
If your offense was something that doesn't relate to raising children and doesn't correlate with being a bad parent, your offense might not matter that much. Proving that your criminal past in no way put your children in danger will bolster your case. If you ran into criminal trouble when children were out of your care, such as a minor drug possession or DUI, this can be chalked up as a mistake.
3. How Previous Criminal Charges were Handled
Check in with your your criminal defense attorney if you had one, and see how your charges were put to rest. If your criminal activity was expunged, or happened when you were a minor, your spouse bringing up any of your criminal past might not hold up in court.
4. Owning up to Your Offenses
It is important not to lie about or diminish your offenses. Chances are, if your spouse plans on challenging you for custody, they will bring up your record. It is important to beat the other side to the chase and be up front in court. As long as your lawyer knows all of the history of your crimes, they can decide the best route to take in your custody hearing.
A criminal record doesn't make you a bad person or parent. Review your previous record with a criminal defense attorney so that they can hand off their findings to your divorce attorney to give you the best chance in court. If you are prepared and your lawyer has all of the pieces, you will stand the best chance for a fair custody hearing.Share
18 February 2015
My name is Laura, and I am an attorney specializing in helping clients leave violent marriages. The law can help victims be safe, but many potential clients cannot afford legal services and may be afraid to pursue divorce. They may not be aware of services that have been created to keep them hidden from violent ex-partners and to help them be awarded assets in a divorce so they can provide for themselves and their families. I hope to raise awareness of these issues as well as help direct people in danger to facilities where they can receive guidance and financial assistance.