A divorce case can be complicated, emotional, and frustrating without criminal charges being added to the situation. When criminal charges arise in a divorce, they can seriously affect your divorce settlement and custody arrangement. Regardless of whether the criminal charges are for domestic abuse, child abuse, neglect, or other criminal actions, the consequences can be severe. Even if the allegations prove to be false, the damage to your case may have already been done. You need an attorney with experience in family law and criminal defense to ensure that your rights are protected in family court and criminal court.
Child Custody, Visitation, and Parenting Time
If you are charged with a crime during your divorce proceeding or you are battling a criminal charge prior to the divorce filing, you will be dealing with two separate courts. The criminal case could result in a loss of custody, only supervised visitation, and a parenting plan that severely limits your ability to be an active participant in your child’s life. If your spouse is successful in using the evidence in your criminal case to convince the judge you are an unfit parent, the judge may grant sole custody to your spouse. You will not have any input in the major decisions affecting your child’s life such as medical care, education, daycare, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities.
For example, if you are charged with domestic violence, the judge may grant sole custody of the child to your spouse and order that visitation must be supervised, if the judge allows visitation at all. If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, the judge could order that the children are not permitted to ride in a vehicle as long as you are the driver. This could seriously impact your ability to visit with your children. If you lose your driver’s license due to a DUI, you will be unable to transport your children; therefore, having primary physical custody would not be feasible. It would also make it more difficult to visit with your child as you would need an alternative form of transportation.
A criminal charge of any nature can harm your family law case. Examples of criminal charges are drug charges, assault, theft, financial misconduct, larceny, or arson. You must be careful that the evidence and testimony in one case does not jeopardize or hurt your chances of a positive outcome in the other case. Our attorneys understand how using a legal defense in one case will impact the legal strategy in your other case.
Domestic and Criminal Lawyers in Knoxville, TN
Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC has experienced criminal defense attorneys in addition to highly trained and knowledgeable family law attorneys. Therefore, we understand how criminal charges can affect your domestic case and our attorneys are prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
If you are facing a criminal charge or contemplating a divorce, we want to meet with you. Schedule a confidential consultation with one of our family law attorneys or criminal defense attorneys by calling (865) 292-2307 or visiting us online.