Can my new husband’s criminal record be held against us in custody arrangements with my son’s bio father?

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Can my new husband’s criminal record be held against us in custody arrangements with my son’s bio father?

Asked on September 29, 2012 under Family Law, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Anytime one parent or step-parent has a criminal history it's almost a given that it can and will be used at some point in any custody dispute.  However, how effective the attack will be depends on the nature of the criminal history.  If the criminal history was simply for some misdemeanor marijuana charges fifteen years ago, then a judge or jury will look at the attack as petty.  If the criminal history involves an assaultive history (like injury to a child, sexual assault of a child, or family violence allegations), then the attack on the criminal history will have a greater affect because the history demonstrates some errors in judgment.  There is not a set formula in how the history will be used, just know that it can and probably will come up. 

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It absolutely can, especially if it is concerning the health, safety and welfare of your child (which is the court's only concern) and if the criminal record has anything to do with violence, violent acts or acts against children.


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