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Felony Convictions and Child Custody

There’s no “rule book” to life, and there are often instances in the past that people feel might come back to haunt their present and future situations. One of those considerations is how a felony conviction could affect child custody. Depending on the offense, you’re not necessarily out of luck in this regard.

For instance, suppose you were convicted of a crime years or even decades ago. You’ve served your sentence, but now you’re facing separation from your partner, and minor child(ren) are involved. This doesn’t automatically keep you from playing a meaningful role in your children’s lives. In Florida, the analysis is what is the “best interests” of the child(ren).  You should be team up with a dependable Daytona Beach family law attorney who can guide you in the process.

Know the Law

The type and severity of your past offense will in large part determine how difficult it may be to achieve your timesharing and parental responsibility goals in your Dissolution of Marriage or Paternity case. However, contrary to what you may have heard, not all felony convictions or accusations bar you from this or other rights.  So, for example, if you have a prior Grand Theft charge, or what is referred to as a “White Collar” criminal conviction, the question for the Judge is that so relevant or so material in structuring a Parenting Plan with your child?  In many instances, the answer is no.  If you sentence has been completed, you are working, able to support yourself and your child(ren), and have a stable residence, the Family Court many times will not give great weight to the prior conviction.  Even if the felony conviction was for something other than a “White Collar” type of crime, again, the Best interest factors under the Florida Statute must all be reviewed.  Now, if the conviction was for a crime of violence, such as felony domestic violence, aggravated battery, child abuse, or sexual assault, the Family Court is going to take a close look at such cases in determining a Parent Plan, but again, many factors have to be weighed such as the specific facts surrounding the conviction, how long ago it was, what has been happening in the person’s life since then, to name just a few.     

It’s essential that you speak with a trusted and reputable Daytona divorce and criminal lawyer about the specifics in your case. We will investigate the details and timeline of your past convictions, and guide you toward the best path moving forward for you.  Everyone has legal rights. Regardless of your past history or criminal convictions, there are protections in place to help you make sense of the past, and formulate a plan to move ahead in a positive and meaningful way. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Instead, dynamic Daytona Beach lawyers are available to assist you through this often confusing and stressful time.

When making child time-sharing decisions, courts take many factors into consideration. That includes the moral fitness, as well as emotional and physical health of parents or guardians. Other factors will also come into play, as outlined in Florida law.

Secure a Legal Advocate

When you’re doing your best to move ahead in life, the last thing you want or need is a past felony conviction to crop up and possibly stall or derail your future. Thankfully, highly-skilled and knowledgeable Volusia County attorneys can help you make sense of what might be an emotionally-charged and trying moment.

Since 1983, Rice Law Firm has assisted countless families and individuals in a variety of legal concentrations-divorce and family law, criminal defense, personal injury and wrongful death, business and corporate law, probate, estate planning and more. It’s one of the ways we’ve become well-known and dedicated attorneys in the Daytona Beach, Florida area, as well as throughout Central Florida. Contact us today to secure solid legal representation in your child custody case.