Can having a criminal record impact a court’s child custody decision in New York?

Can having a criminal record impact a court’s child custody decision in New York?

person handcuffed arrested

If you are seeking a divorce with children, you will have to face the often contested issue of child custody. If you have a criminal record, you may be wondering whether this can impact a judge’s custody determination. Please continue reading to learn whether a criminal record could cause a parent to be denied custody. In addition, contact an experienced Nassau County Child Custody Attorney who can help you seek custody of your child. 

Can I get custody of my child if I have a criminal record in New York?

If you are a convicted felon, you may wonder whether having a criminal record will affect a custody determination. Ultimately, whether a criminal record impacts a custody determination depends on several factors including what the crime you committed was and how long ago the crime was committed. However, when a judge is determining what type of custody they should grant, they evaluate several factors. The most significant factor they take into account is what the best interests of a child are. For the most part, the court finds it is in the best interests of a child to benefit from having a relationship with both of their parents. So whenever that is possible, the judge will make an effort to grant joint custody. However, in some cases, if a child’s physical, emotional, or mental well-being would be at risk if joint custody was granted, the court will grant sole custody to protect the child’s overall well-being.

Furthermore, whether a criminal record can impact child custody depends on the nature of the crime you were charged with. For instance, if you committed a violent crime or a sex crime, it could weigh heavily on whether the court deems a child will be safe in your company. However, if you committed a theft that happened 20 years ago when you were younger with no subsequent offenses, your criminal record will not weigh heavily on a custody determination. If your crime was a misdemeanor, it may not have a significant impact on a custody determination. However, if the nature of the crime warrants concern that the child will not be safe with a parent, it could have a significant impact on a custody determination. Ultimately, every case is unique, meaning a parent who has a criminal record could be granted sole or joint custody depending on the specific circumstances of their criminal history. Nevertheless, some crimes often result in an automatic denial of any form of custody to a parent with a criminal record.

If you are seeking custody of your child, reach out to one of our determined and trusted attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients protect the best interests of their children.

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