Effect of a DUI Conviction on a Child Custody Case in AZ
Going through a divorce can push you to the limit. The likelihood of engaging in reckless behavior you’re going to regret later on increases. Every single thing that you do, however, could affect the outcome of the divorce proceedings and the child custody case. If you’re convicted of driving under the influence while a custody battle is going on, you will be affected negatively by it. Let’s find out the effect of a DUI conviction on a child custody case in Arizona.
The Effect of DUI on Child Custody Decision Making
Having DUI on your record for a violation that occurred seven years ago, for example, isn’t going to have as much of an impact on the child custody proceedings as a brand new DUI charge.
To determine what’s in the best interest of children following a divorce, the Arizona family court will scrutinize the lives of both parents. DUIs are indicative of reckless behavior and they cannot be downplayed whenever custody decisions are being made.
Both legal custody and parenting time you will get to spend with your child could be modified following a DUI conviction. People who drink and drive will find it much more difficult than others to prove to court that they are responsible parents who deserve joint custody or sole custody.
Obviously, there could be some exceptions to this general rule.
The BAC that a person has when they’re pulled over is very important. In addition, a criminal defense attorney could challenge the test results or the procedure that led to the DUI conviction. Through effective legal representation, it could be possible to minimize the impact of the DUI charge or to get it dismissed altogether.
A DUI is also not going to get brought up whenever the two former spouses can reach a mutually-beneficial decision about child custody. Whenever parents reach an agreement on their own, the court is not going to get involved further and the arrangement will probably get approved.
DUIs and Physical/Legal Custody
The type of custody you’re seeking is related to the eventual effect of a DUI conviction on a child custody case.
A DUI charge isn’t going to have that much of a decision on legal custody. Legal custody refers to your ability to make decisions about the wellbeing and the future of your child. Arizona family court doesn’t consider a DUI conviction to be capable of interfering with your rational judgment concerning what’s best for your child.
Physical custody will be affected much more adversely.
As the name suggests, physical custody refers to the parent that the child will be living or spending the most time with. In this instance, your former spouse may argue that alcohol consumption is a regular occurrence that will affect the quality of time you’ll be having with your kids. A recent DUI conviction can be detrimental because you’ll be seen as a threat to your kids.
A parent can be denied physical custody on the basis of a DUI conviction, thus you should never take such charges lightly.
Even when a child is not in the vehicle at the time of the DUI accident, it will still be perceived as a serious security threat.
Keep in mind that DUI charges could be detrimental even if they occur after child custody proceedings are finalized. Driving under the influence convictions often prevent parents from disputing a custody decision successfully.
As already mentioned, every case is unique. Driving after the consumption of alcohol is dangerous and foolish but being under a lot of stress can deprive you of the chance to make rational decisions. If you’re facing DUI charges and you’re also fighting a custody battle in court, you will need to talk to an experienced lawyer immediately.