It is not really surprising that criminal charges can affect your child custody and visitation rights. After all, it is in the child’s best interest to be protected from criminal elements. However, not all criminal charges are considered prejudicial to a parent’s right to custody and visitation rights. Non-violent crimes, for example, do not constitute a bar to having custody of a child, unless it results in a conviction that mandates jail time. Domestic violence is another matter.

Some states have laws that provide guidance to a divorce court judge pertaining to domestic violence. A Manhattan Beach child custody lawyer will know very well that a judge will take such factors seriously. In fact, a court judge is compelled to adhere to special rules in child custody decisions when a parent was convicted of domestic violence against the other parent in the previous 5 years; or a court decides that domestic violence happened against the other parent or child. In such cases, the judge is typically barred from awarding physical custody to the parent convicted of domestic violence with some state-specific exceptions, but not from granting visitation rights. It will all depend on the circumstances.

Child custody and visitation rights are usually a bitter issue between parents, and some go through great lengths to make sure they come out ahead. There have been cases when one parent falsely accused the other parent of domestic abuse or violence in order to sway custodial decision. As pointed out on the website of Truslow & Truslow, Attorneys at Law, even the most minor incident can be blown out of proportion. This can lead not only to loss of parental rights but also damage to the reputation of the accused. It is important for the defendant to challenge such accusations with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Divorce is always a complicated civil matter, and it is made more complicated when there are criminal charges involved. Contact the appropriate lawyers to handle these matters in as smooth and painless a way as possible.