If I recently found out that my son’s stepdad has a long criminal history, can this affect custody?

He has the following charges: aggravated DUI, distribution, DV, manufacturing, fraud, identity theft, etc.

Asked on June 10, 2012 under Family Law, New Mexico


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

When it comes to child custody, the courts are allowed to consider any factors which could affect what is in the best interest of the child.  In a close case, the criminal history of the people that a mother is intentionally exposing her children to could impact custody--however, it is not a determinative custody factor all by itself.   Step-dad's history may or may not be relevant.  It looks to be rather extensive, but there are other things which could influence the judge in relation to this history.  For example, if his history is extensive and recent, it could be evidence that the child is at risk of being exposed to ongoing and continuous criminal activity.  If some of the aggravated charges have been directed towards family members, that can also indicate a current and present risk.  If the charges are older and the child there is not some link to the safety of the child, then the history will be talked about, but not used to deny mom custody of the child.

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