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After your divorce, you may desperately want to maintain the relationship that you have with your child. And the best possibility for this is if you are granted some sort of custody rights. However, this possibility may be negatively affected if you have a criminal record. Follow along to find out how having a criminal record can affect your custody rights and how one of the proficient New York City child custody attorneys at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help you avoid this.

Can having a criminal record affect my custody rights?

Whether your criminal record will affect your ability to be granted custody rights will largely depend on the circumstances surrounding your offense. For example, say that you committed a violent crime like domestic violence, child abuse, spousal abuse, or kidnapping. With this, the New York family court may determine that granting you custody rights would put your child in immediate danger.

On the other hand, say that you committed a nonviolent crime like drug possession. And say that you have since attended substance abuse programs to better yourself. With this, the court may believe that the gravity of your child’s relationship with both parents outweighs the gravity of your offense. And so, they may grant you some sort of custody right, even if it is just visitation rights.

Besides considering whether your criminal record entails a violent crime or a nonviolent crime, the court will look at the following factors:

  •  The number of offenses you have on your criminal record.
  • The dates on which you committed your offense(s).
  • Whether the victim of your offense(s) was your spouse or child.
  • Whether you were incarcerated for your offense(s).
  • Any other penalties you were subject to for your offense(s).

What else can affect my custody rights?

Overall, the New York family court may see your criminal record as you being parentally unfit. Below are other reasons why they may view you as an unfit parent:

  • You have a history of institutionalization due to a mental issue.
  • You have a history of neglecting your minor child while they were under your supervision.
  • You have a history of abandoning your minor child while they were under your care.
  • You have a history of sabotaging your child’s relationship with their other parent.

At the end of the day, you must do everything in your power to prove that you are parentally fit, that you are able and willing to co-parent with your former spouse, and that you are able and willing to properly care for your child. Luckily, one of the talented New York City divorce attorneys can help you in building this argument. So do not hesitate in picking up the phone and giving our firm a call today.