What Can A DUI Mean For Child Custody?

You love your children, and if you are divorcing or separating from your child’s other parent, you understand the strain that a child custody battle can place on you emotionally. You may be stressed by fears that you will not get the child custody arrangement that you want, or maybe there is something in your past that makes you worry that you will not get custody of your children at all. Many clients come to us with concerns that a DUI charge or conviction in their past will impact their child custody case. Below is some general information about the South Carolina Family Court’s consideration of DUI charges or convictions of one of the parents in a child custody case.

A DUI Can Mean Bad News For Your Child Custody Case

There are several situations where a DUI will most definitely be a significant factor in the outcome of your child custody case. For instance:

  • Repeat DUI offenses signal to the court that you may not exercise the best judgment about the dangers of consuming alcohol and driving. The court will weigh instances of repeat DUI heavily against awarding custody to that parent.
  • No matter how old a DUI is, if the DUI was a very serious incident at the time it occurred, the court will most likely want to know about it, and will likely give the incident some weight when making a child custody determination. Serious DUIs are instances where a person was killed, seriously injured or a child was endangered.
  • A recent DUI, occurring within the past few months, can impact a court’s child custody award, especially if you are facing the possibility of jail time as punishment for your DUI. Even if you are not incarcerated as a result of your DUI conviction, you will lose your driving privileges, which can make custody, or even visitation, difficult.

DUIs Aren’t Always A Deal Breaker

A DUI in your criminal history is not always a deal breaker when it comes to child custody. The South Carolina Family Court will particularly look at how old the DUI is. The court often notes normal DUIs that are over 10 years old, but little weight is given to them for the purposes of child custody cases, especially if the DUI is a one and only time offense.

The Impacts Of A DUI Run Deep

The consequences of getting a DUI are far reaching, and can even affect our child custody case. The South Carolina Family Court’s primary goal when deciding child custody issues is to place the child in the custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. In order for the Family Court to best achieve its goal, many facts must be considered and evaluated, including the past criminal conduct of both parents.

When You Need a Child Custody Lawyer

Having custody of your children is important to you, so it is important to us as well. If you have concerns that your criminal past will have an impact on your child custody case, you can contact the experienced child custody lawyers s at Sarji Law Firm, LLC. Your problems are our problems. Please contact us today at 843-323-4341.