How having a criminal record affects child custody

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2023 | Child Custody, Criminal Defense |

No Louisiana resident envisions being convicted of a crime. However, if you are a parent in this situation, there are times when your right to child custody might be impacted.

Convictions that prevent custody

Certain criminal convictions can prevent a parent from gaining child custody or retaining it. Any felony conviction that involves violence can cause a person to be barred from seeing their children. However, in some cases, a parent might be granted supervised visitation based on the circumstances. Felony convictions such as aggravated assault, homicide, kidnapping, stalking and sex crimes typically prevent a parent from having custody.

There are some exceptions to the rule. If a parent has a prior criminal history from many years earlier, it might be overlooked; if the offense was not violent or the person was convicted of a misdemeanor, the family court judge may allow them to have custody of their children.

Factors the court considers

If you were convicted of a crime and are trying to gain custody of your child, it helps to know what to expect in court. One of the biggest reasons why a parent might be denied custody is that the crime was directed at their child. For example, if you were convicted of child abuse, it would be fair to assume that the judge would remove your custody rights.

The court also considers whether the crime was a one-time incident. Something that occurred once and never again may be overlooked if it did not involve violence. However, judges want to ensure that there is no pattern of crimes and that the person is worthy of parenting time.

In some cases, a conviction can be expunged. In that situation, the parent should have no trouble getting custody unless extenuating circumstances exist.


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