As we discussed last month, if you are charged with a DUI, it can throw a very significant wrench into your family law case and be a devastating blow to your chances of achieving things like shared responsibility or custody over your children. But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What happens if you are involved in a child custody battle or some other family law dispute and the OTHER parent has drinking issues or DUIs on his or her record?
Strong and experienced lawyers like those from the Vazquez de Lara Law Group will be able to recognize the significance this has for your goals in the case and act accordingly to leverage the situation. Courts will tend to look more favorably on your position when an opposing parent in a family law dispute has been charged with a DUI. The time that has passed since the DUI occurred will generally correlate directly with how strong of an impact it will have on the case. For example, a DUI many years ago by the other parent in your case could serve as an indication of overall character, but likely will not have a major, direct impact on the case.
However, a pattern of DUIs or a recent DUI by the other parent, particularly one that involved jail time, will have a huge impact on the case and likely give you a great deal of control to dictate the the terms of responsibility over your children and time sharing arrangements.
It is likely that, if your child’s other parent has drinking issues, you’ll want to minimize the amount of control they have over decisions affecting your children’s lives. To achieve this, you could fight for, and possibly win the right of sole parental responsibility or even limited/supervised time sharing. This would provide you with autonomous control over things like medical, educational, and financial decisions that will have major implications for your children’s lives and future.
If you still want the parent with DUI troubles to have the opportunity to see and maintain a relationship with your children, you could also have more control over the terms of the visitation. The judge will likely recognize that the other parent will have major logistical challenges in seeing the kids (since they will likely lose their license as a consequence of the DUI), so you should be able to make sure that the interactions the other parent has with the kids is under your terms.
DUIs are never a good thing, and they can have a serious impact on your family law and custody disputes. When you face these types of battles, the most important thing is to ensure the health and safety of the children involved, and if the opposing parent in your case has committed a DUI, that could result in you having more direct control over the case—which a strong lawyer can use to make sure your kids are protected.
If the other parent of your children has committed a DUI in the past or recently, and you are either in the midst of a custody battle or want to change the terms of a previously determined custody agreement, the Vasquez de Lara Law Group can effectively fight for your wishes and your children’s best interests. Give us a call to discuss your specific situation and what options are available to you.