handcuffs gavel criminal record arrest

If you are undergoing a divorce with children, you and your spouse will have to mutually agree upon a child custody agreement. If you cannot come up with a custody agreement outside of court, the custody decision will fall into the court’s lap. When the court makes a custody determination, they evaluate numerous factors before making a decision. Despite evaluating a variety of different factors, the court’s primary factor they take into account is the best interests of a child. With that being said, many couples wonder whether having a criminal record can impact the court’s child custody decision. Keep reading to learn whether having a criminal record could impact a court’s child custody decision. In addition, learn how our seasoned Monmouth County Child Custody Attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of this legal process. 

Can I get custody of my child if I have a criminal record in New Jersey?

If you have a criminal record, it does not necessarily bar you from being awarded custody of your child. Ultimately, whether a criminal record impacts a custody decision depends on the nature of the crime, how long ago it happened, and whether there are any subsequent offenses. A criminal record can have a significant impact on a custody decision. However, the court evaluates several other factors when making a custody decision. Essentially, a court’s main priority when determining a custody agreement is to protect a child’s best interests. The court values protecting a child’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Moreover, the court believes that it is in a child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents if possible. The court will try to award joint custody if they believe it is in the best interests of a child. However, if they have valid reasoning to believe that a child’s overall well-being would be in danger if one parent was granted custody or any form of parenting time, they may deny a parent custody. The court’s biggest concern is the safety of a child. With that being said, if the nature of your crime was violent or sexual, it will likely result in you being denied any form of custody or parenting time. Although, if you were charged with theft 10 years ago and you have no subsequent offenses, having a criminal record will not have a significant impact on the court’s custody decision. As mentioned above, the court will consider various factors to determine a custody agreement that values the best interests of a child.

If you are seeking custody of your child, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our trusted and skilled attorneys. Having a criminal record can impact a court’s child custody decision which is why it is imperative to have the right legal representation. Allow our firm to fight on your behalf today.