Can a criminal record affect your child custody case?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2023 | Child Custody |

Nebraska family courts always decide on child custody based on what is in the child’s best interests. Therefore, if you’re a convicted felon or criminal charges have been brought against you, the court may question whether you should be granted child custody rights.

Although the courts review each parent’s background when making child custody decisions, being a convicted felon doesn’t automatically disqualify you from taking on parental roles.

How crimes are viewed in a child custody case

The court will closely scrutinize your case and determine how it can affect your ability to keep the child safe. Some of the factors a judge will review include:

  • The offense committed
  • When the offense was committed
  • Who the victim was
  • The age when you were convicted
  • Whether you have multiple convictions 

The main factor that the judge will review is whether the charge was violent and if it involved children. In such a case, chances are that you won’t get custody. The judge will also give more weight to convictions of sexual assault, child abuse, drug abuse and domestic violence. This is because such offenses can negatively impact a child.

Can your criminal history affect visitation?

A criminal record can affect child custody as well as visitation. While courts try to preserve a child’s relationship with both parents, if a criminal record leads the court to believe that you shouldn’t be left alone with your child, it may grant supervised visitation. This means that you can still see your child, but only in the presence of a third party. This may be a friend, relative or in a state-approved facility.

A criminal record can directly impact your child custody case. Apart from losing custody, having a prior criminal conviction can lead to reduced child visitation rights. Therefore, consider seeking legal assistance to defend your parental rights and ensure that the custody agreement is in your child’s best interests.