Having a criminal record could have devastating consequences that affect you for the rest of your life. Not only will you have to face the immediate penalties such as jail time and expensive fines, you will also face long-term punishment. You will likely find it difficult to obtain and maintain employment, and you could lose certain rights.
But how does having a criminal record affect your ability to see your child? Could you still obtain custody of your child if you have a criminal record?
Criminal Consequences on Family Life
Often, individuals who have criminal records believe this will preclude them from receiving child custody or visitation rights. Similarly, such individuals often think that just because they have been sent to jail or prison, their child support obligations are suspended. Neither of these is necessarily true.
The impact on a family when a father or mother is left to their own resources as the other parent goes behind bars cannot be exaggerated. Families are often devastated when this very thing happens. Marriages rarely withstand the strain. Bankruptcy and even homelessness may result. And when the other parent is released from prison or jail, the situation may not improve. Ex-convicts have an extraordinarily difficult time finding work, particularly in these tough economic times. They often have to rebuilt their lives and heal relationships that have been damaged by their actions.
Can You Get Child Custody with a Criminal Record?
Initially, gaining even partial custody of a child may be quite difficult for a parolee. Indeed, even if the couple remains married a parent may be prohibited from staying in the same household as the child, and in some cases, visiting the child. How your child custody and visitation rights will work will mostly depend on the circumstances of your case.
Assuming that the crime you were convicted of did not directly involve your child and is not a sex crime, a judge may allow you to reunite with your family, or order you to have partial custody of the child. As more time passes and you do not commit any further crimes, the better chance you will have to obtain visitation or custody rights. Hiring a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can greatly increase your chances of obtaining child custody.
Aside from committing further crimes, there are other factors that could affect your ability to obtain child custody. Non-payment of child support can be an issue that interferes with reunification or partial custody. Unless you have your attorney file for a modification of child support orders, arrears will build. Upon release, even if you are able to secure work, you may find your wages garnished or that government sanctions were imposed to obtain the back child support you owe. A judge is not likely to view such non-payment favorably when he hears a case for custody.
Contact an Experienced Attorney at Wallin & Klarich
At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients in child custody cases, and we understand how to help you if you have a criminal record. We’ve helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, West Covina, Torrance, Victorville and Sherman Oaks, our skilled lawyers are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.