As a parent, you want to come across as a respectful, responsible person. Unfortunately, people do make mistakes. If you’re accused of driving under the influence and are currently negotiating custody of your children during your divorce, you could find that your right to custody is challenged.
A DUI affects your custody case because the court has to make decisions based on the best custody arrangements possible for your children. A DUI will hurt your driving record, may influence your career, will likely have an impact on your finances and may show that you don’t always make the best decisions. The other parent may reach out to the court to request sole legal or physical custody as a result of your DUI, especially if that DUI charge leads to a conviction.
The important thing to remember is that you have a right to defend against the charges. You also have an opportunity to show positive changes if the charges do stick.
What can you do to improve your chances of getting custody after a DUI charge?
If you are charged or convicted for a DUI, the first step is to be able to show that you are responsible with your children. If they were in the vehicle, you’re going to have a harder time defending yourself. However, if they were not with you at the time of the traffic stop, you’ll be in a better position as you approach your custody case.
You should show that you can maintain the financial support that your child needs by keeping your job despite the DUI or finding a new one. You should focus on positive changes, such as going to substance abuse counseling or through a driving course to show that you’re willing to learn and accept responsibility for a crime once convicted. Of course, if you have not been convicted, you should be working to defend yourself in the hope of having the case dismissed or reduced in your favor.
The way you approach this case will matter. You should know that there is a chance that your visitation or custody time could be limited or monitored if you are convicted of a DUI, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Showing positive growth is a good way to improve your chances of the custody arrangements you want in the future.