The primary goal of the family court during a child custody case is acting in the best interests of the most vulnerable parties – the kids. While ruling on the child’s custody and living arrangement, the court will consider pretty much every aspect of the family dynamic to ensure the child lives in the most conducive environment possible.
What happens if either parent is charged with a crime or incarcerated?
Every situation may be different
A simple infraction like a traffic offense isn’t likely to put your custody rights at risk. However, if you are charged with a more serious crime, then there might be problems. If the court believes the environment you are providing is not safe and stable for the child, you may be denied the right to spend time with the child.
The court will take the following into account when determining whether or not you will lose your custody or visitation rights, and for how long if you are charged with a crime:
- The nature of the crime you have been charged with
- The nature of the sentence
- Your criminal history
- Whether or not you are currently incarcerated
If you are charged with a crime against your child (like abuse), then you can be certain that your parenting rights will be in serious trouble.
Unlike in criminal court, family court doesn’t have to wait on a verdict to seek to protect the interests of the children. You may be restricted to supervised visitation only or even denied visitation outright while your case is pending.
Child custody issues can get complicated very fast. Knowing your legal options can help you protect your rights during and after your child custody case.