A driving under the influence conviction can have serious consequences. If you are in a custody fight with your ex-spouse, you may have concerns that your DUI could negatively impact your custody case.
What effect does a DUI have on custody decisions?
Potential consequences of a DUI for your custody case
Virginia law requires the judge to consider the best interests of the child. A DUI conviction could lower your chances of receiving physical custody of your child because the judge may believe that you have demonstrated behavior that could endanger your child.
Factors that affect the impact of your DUI conviction
If your DUI conviction happened many years ago and you have had a clean driving record and no issues with drugs or alcohol since then, the judge will probably not give the DUI much consideration when deciding custody. However, a recent DUI conviction is more likely to cause the judge to view your fitness as a parent negatively.
If your child was in the car during your arrest for DUI, it is even more likely that the judge may not grant you custody. If the judge believes that your DUI conviction is indicative of an ongoing substance abuse problem or there is other evidence that your drug or alcohol use may impair your parenting ability, the judge may decide to deny custody.
A DUI conviction can negatively impact your custody case. The more recent the conviction was and the more evidence there is that your behavior may be harmful to your child, the more likely it is to negatively affect your case.