Will a DUI Impact Custody of My Child?

Child Custody and DUI

If you were pulled over and charged with a DUI, there will be a number of thoughts running through your mind. One that may be at the forefront is whether your DUI charge will have an impact on child custody. This may especially be of concern if you were charged with a DUI while in the process of negotiating custody of your child. A DUI can come with a number of consequences, some which may be unrealized. Unfortunately, depending upon the factors surrounding the DUI, child custody can be impacted as a result. With stakes so high, it’s in your best interest to work with a lawyer for legal representation.

The Consequences of a DUI

DUI, or driving under the influence, can come with a series of consequences. If this is your second or third DUI conviction, the impact can be devastating. If you are driving and pulled over with a BAC of .08% or higher, law enforcement may charge you with a DUI. While the consequences can vary depending upon the state you live, they can certainly have a life-altering impact due to:

  • Legal fees
  • Loss of license
  • Jailtime
  • Probation

One lapse of judgment can be devastating, especially when in the midst of child custody negotiations. Unfortunately, the consequences can be far-reaching, and may even impact child custody.

A DUI Could Impact Child Custody

When negotiating custody, it’s common for parents to agree upon joint custody. This means that parents share both physical and legal custody of their children. If you have children and have received a DUI, one of the most significant consequences of a DUI is the impact it may have on child custody arrangements. It’s only natural that receiving a DUI may cause the other party to have concern. Essentially, there are a few factors that may come into play in regards to your DUI: 

  • There is a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • This is not your first DUI offense
  • Whether you were driving with the children in the car with you

A DUI can certainly impact the relationship you have with your ex. As a result, they may change their request with the court in an attempt to obtain full custody.

Putting the Best Interest of the Child First

When making decisions regarding child custody, the court will keep the best interests of the child at the forefront. In order to obtain custody of your child, the court will take the following factors into consideration: 

  • What the child’s wishes are
  • Whether the parent is able to meet the child’s needs
  • The age of the child
  • Whether you abuse substances
  • Whether domestic abuse is present

A DUI can be particularly challenging to navigate amidst child custody negotiations. Your ability to have contact with your child could be impacted, especially if your license has been suspended and you are unable to drive. If you have been charged with a DUI, you will want to take every opportunity to mitigate the charges and protect your interests during child custody negotiations. For more information about how a lawyer can help you manage your case, contact a child custody attorney.