When courts make decisions regarding child custody, they often look at the background of the parents before issuing a final ruling. Courts commonly intervene as special advocate for dependent children, and the best interests of the child standard always rules in New York. What this means for parents who have a criminal history is a serious evaluation of their suitability as a custodial parent. However, the type of conviction can matter significantly when a final determination is made.
Conviction details matter
Even a parent with a single conviction could be denied custody of their child if the prior conviction was violent in nature or included any evidence of abuse. This is especially true if child abuse or serious drug abuse was also an element. The best interest of the child primarily refers to a stable household where no criminal activity is occurring, especially drug usage around a minor. All New York family law judges follow this policy strictly when making a final ruling on child custody.
What a New York family law attorney can do
The goal when going before a judge for custody of a child for those with a criminal record is presenting evidence of a turn-around in life. Evidence such as work records and other personal extra-curricular interests can help set the framework for an experienced New York family law attorney to use in building a case for solid personal change and development to present before the judge when requesting custody. Personal testimony from reputable individuals can also be a great asset when going to court.
It is important for all parents to remember that they also have legal rights to a relationship with their child regardless of problems in the past. Having an aggressive family law attorney means a parent with a troublesome past still has an excellent chance at gaining custody.