Can a DUI conviction affect my child custody case?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2022 | Family Law |

A DUI conviction can definitely affect a child custody case.

Florida child custody cases focus on two factors: parenting time and parental responsibility.

Parenting time, also called physical custody, determines visitation or the actual time a child spends with a parent. Parental responsibility, sometimes called legal custody, references how each parent will influence important decisions regarding their child.

In both of these instances, the court makes determinations based on the child’s best interest.

What influences the child’s best interest?

The courts work to ensure the child’s health and safety. If there is a question regarding circumstances that could affect the child’s welfare, the court may withhold or reduce custody for the questionable parent.

Being convicted of a DUI can create questions about your ability to care for a child safely. It will also create a criminal record that will negatively impact your case.

Might there be circumstances that lessen the impact of a DUI on a child custody case?

There may be some conditions related to your DUI that could change how the judge views your DUI. They include:

  • How long ago the DUI occurred
  • If you participated in treatment or DUI school
  • Whether it was an isolated incident or you have more than one DUI on your record
  • Whether your child was in the car at the time of the DUI
  • Whether you have any other arrests or convictions on your criminal record
  • If you have an addiction problem

Every child custody case is an individual situation with many factors that can affect the outcome. Understanding the severity of a DUI during a child custody case is only one element that impacts the decision made for the welfare of your children.


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