In theory, the decision on who will get child custody boils down to the child’s best interests. One crucial point that affects the interests of a child is the character of the person applying for child custody. When determining an applicant’s character, the court will look at different factors. One of these is your criminal record. You might have been caught up in crime but have since changed your ways, but the conviction still affects your chances of getting custody.
With legal solicitors from London, the mistakes from your past will have minimal effect on the outcome of your application. You should thus not give up on applying for custody believing that your ex or another person already has the upper hand in your case since he/she has no criminal record. The outcome of your custody application will be based on different elements of your conviction. Here are these aspects.
The Victim of Your Crime
If you have a criminal record, the judge will assess the relationship between you and the plaintiff. If, for instance, you have been convicted of crimes involving physical and emotional harm on kids, getting child custody will be hard. In this case, the concern is that there is a high chance of hurting children again if you have done it in the past; thus, giving you custody might place your child at risk.
Nature of Your Crime
The weight of your past conviction will also significantly affect your case’s outcome. Some crimes like assault, domestic violence and battery might paint you as a violent person and one around whom kids will not be safe. There are times however when courts might order you to attend anger management classes, and other training aimed at controlling your emotions then give you supervised child custody. Though a drug conviction is not, per se, a crime, it will also negatively impact your chances of getting custody.
Your Age at the Time of Your Criminal Conviction
If you are convicted at a young age and have had no repeat offenses since then, the court might consider you a changed person and rule favorably. The court will then shift their focus to the circumstances that might affect the child currently. Recent criminal convictions are ordinarily quite hard to beat when applying for child custody.
Frequency of Your Convictions
If you have had multiple convictions, the court might not be so lenient even if the crimes are considered minor infractions. This paints you as someone who is not ready for change and cannot follow the law. Worst case scenario, the legal custody of your child will be transferred to a relative, or your child might be placed in a children’s home thus affecting his/her stability.
Most people with a criminal record are talked out of applying for child custody by people close to them believing they have minimal chances of winning the case. Do not let your past mistakes dictate your relationship with your child. Have an attorney review the case specifics and ask them advice on how to best handle the case to guarantee you get custody.