How a DUI Charge Can Impact Your Family Law Case – Part 1

Being charged with a DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, can create a variety of problems if you’re involved with a child custody or other family law case. If you are currently fighting a custody battle and worried about a DUI conviction, give us a call so that we can discuss your situation!

A DUI in the distant past is not helpful in a custody case, but a savvy lawyer should be able to mitigate the negative impact. More recent DUIs, however, may be more difficult to overcome, especially if jail time was involved. It’s unfortunate, but just having one beer too many with dinner could lead to a major legal challenge.

In a custody case where a DUI is involved, it’s not unusual for the other parent to try to get sole parental responsibility and supervised time sharing. Sole parental responsibility gives the parent without parental responsibility limited input into all decisions regarding the children. This can be a very frightening development for any parent as the parent with the sole parental responsibility can make decisions without the other parent’s say. Since a person charged with a DIU usually loses their license, the court may require supervised time sharing to ensure that the children are not being driven by a parent with an alcohol problem, or to ensure that they are not being driven by a parent without a valid license.

If the parent with minority time sharing has a DUI, this can also mean that the judge is more likely to grant sole parental responsibility to the parent with majority time sharing, especially if the parent with the DUI is lacking transportation because of a suspended license. Making matters even worse, a suspended license can mean that the parent with minority time sharing is denied visitation rights under the assumption that he or she has no access to transportation. Sometimes the parent with majority time sharing will try to add fuel to the fire by painting the parent with minority time sharing as dangerous behind the wheel.

The advice of a lawyer represents your best chance of presenting your side of the story and demonstrating that you are a responsible parent. Next month I’ll be discussing the other side of this issue, if the other parent gets a DUI or has an alcohol/drug problem and what you should keep in mind. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us today!

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Vanessa Vasquez

The Vasquez de Lara Law Group is dedicated to assisting families with the legal issues affecting them and their loved ones in family and probate court, including divorce, child custody, child support, relocation matters, preparation of wills, probating of assets with and without wills, and guardianships of incapacitated persons and minors. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

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