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How drunk driving allegations may affect your custody case

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2023 | divorce |

Do your kids mean everything to you? If so, you’re probably worried about how your child custody dispute is going to turn out. This is understandable given that the outcome of this matter can dictate the amount of time you get to spend with your children, what that time together will look like and how much of an ability you’ll have to build and maintain a relationship with your children.

Given that the court is allowed to consider any factor it deems relevant when making a decision that it thinks is in your children’s best interests, you’ll want to be as fully prepared as possible before heading into your custody dispute. If you’ve been charged or convicted of a criminal offense like drunk driving, you’re probably feeling like you’ve already lost your case. But this may not be so.

How allegations of drunk driving may impact your child custody case

If you’ve been accused or convicted of drunk driving, your children’s other parent might use that information against you. They might try to portray you as someone who has a substance abuse problem and is, therefore, unable to safely care for children, and they may even go so far as to claim that you’ve exposed your children to your drunken state, thereby resulting in some sort of abuse or neglect.

This can be powerful evidence in court, which is why you need to be ready to address this issue head on in your custody case.

How can you get out ahead of this issue in your custody case?

You might have a few options at your disposal. First, if you’ve only been accused of drunk driving but haven’t been convicted, you might want to see what you can do about getting your charges reduced or dismissed. Beating your criminal charges is the best outcome, of course, but even having the drunk driving allegations dismissed in exchange for some other sort of conviction, like reckless driving, can be beneficial in your custody case.

Another option is to demonstrate that your drunk driving history is not indicative of how you treat, raise or otherwise interact with your children. You might be able to do this by showing that any criminal charges or convictions that you have were isolated incidents that occurred when your children were not in your care, and that you’ve never been intoxicated when your kids have been in your care.

You can also focus on showing how minimizing your contact with your children will be detrimental to them. Your child’s therapist might be able to help you here, if they have one, but you might also be able to elicit testimony from friends, relatives and school professionals to support your position here.

Another option is to show that you’re rehabilitated. Although a drunk driving conviction won’t look great in your custody case, you can drastically minimize its impact if you can show that you’ve received treatment, taken classes, or have taken other measures to remedy the issue. Specifying how long you’ve been sober, if it’s been a significant period of time, may also help your case.

Are you ready to fight for your kids?

Regardless of your history, you don’t have to sit back and allow your children’s other parent to take control of what your custody and visitation arrangement should look like. You’re your children’s parent, too, and you should have a say.

But if you and your children’s other parent can’t agree on a custody arrangement and the matter has to be litigated, you need know how to paint yourself in a favorable light despite being under attack. An attorney who is experienced at handling these matters may be able to help you do just that, which is why you might want to think about reaching out to one of these legal professionals if you want help with your case.