It’s no secret that a drunk driving charge is a serious thing to contend with, as any repeat DUI lawyer will tell you. Can its effects reach as far as a child custody case, though? The short answer is “yes,” but there are some nuances that are worth mentioning, so read on to see exactly how a DUI might come into play during a custody hearing.
The Rippling Effects Of DUIs
The immediate consequences of a DUI are ones that most already know — hefty fines, potential jail time, suspension of your license. What many don’t realize, though, is that it can have an impact on other areas of your life as well. Now, is it something that courts have to legally act on when it comes to matters of child custody? No, says OK divorce attorneys at Strange Law Firm, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come into play regardless.
Let’s say, for instance, you were driving under the influence, and, while your child may not have been with you at the time, you were arrested for the offence. There’s a chance family court might get involved with the situation, and may want to know more about your relationship with alcohol/drugs and how that could potentially impact your child.
The social worker appointed to your child custody case, in such an instance, is going to do some digging, conducting interviews with your ex-spouse, children, and other family who are in your residence to find out as much as they can about your lifestyle (with the goal of determining if you are a habitual abuser of drugs and alcohol).
Should they find evidence that suggests an overindulgence of substances, that information could then negatively impact your child custody case. This is because courts, throughout many regions of the US, view substance abuse as an impediment to properly caring for a child, and one that is difficult for most people to contain.
DUIs And Child Custody, Continued
So, while a DUI in and of itself might not hold an influence over a child custody proceedings, being arrested for a DUI or being charged with a drug crime can set off a chain of events that might hinder your case down the line.
The same might also hold true if you have a DUI arrest from before your separation and child custody case, and the scrutiny with which the courts view such offences often magnifies if you have multiple arrests, as it shows a pattern of behavior. It’s best to avoid DUIs at all costs, and, if you do have one, consult the services of a professional who can help you navigate those rippling consequences in court.