Getting charged with assault is serious enough already and leave you in need of a lawyer. If you’re in the middle of a custody battle, it becomes an even bigger issue. Judges understand the impact criminal charges, including assault, has on children and may be reluctant to give custody to a parent prone to that kind of behavior. A judge will look at certain factors about the assault charge and then make his or her decision.
Factors of Assault Charge That Affect Custody
- Nature of Your Assault Charge: The specific nature of your assault charge is extremely important when your custody rights are being considered. If you, for example, are accused of assaulting a child or another defenseless person, the judge may look at your case more harshly. On the other hand, if you hit someone to defend yourself, the judge may be a bit more understanding.
- How Long Ago the Crime Occurred: When you were charged with assault can also make a big difference. For example, if you were charged with assault 15 years ago during a bar fight, you could make a case that you’ve changed since then. If the judge can see that you’re a different person now, it probably won’t negatively affect your custody situation. However, if the charge is recent or you’ve had recurring charges throughout the years, the judge may decide to deny you custody.
Impact of Assault Charges on Custody Decisions
If the judge decides that it’s in the best interest of your children to have contact with you, he or she might make certain visitation arrangements to protect the children.
A judge may decide to allow visitations with your children under the supervision of a trained professional. This person will schedule visits between you and your children and observe every visit. The judge may also order you to pay for these supervised visits.
Termination of Parental Rights
Rarely, a judge will decide to terminate a parent’s rights to a child. A judge may decide to terminate the rights if the parent committed aggravated assault against a child or is a career criminal.
Consulting with a Family Lawyer
If you’re in the middle of a child custody battle and were also recently charged with assault, you should speak to an experienced family lawyer as soon as possible. You want to be able to see your kids and you don’t want to go through this alone. A skilled lawyer will assess your case and advise you the best way to proceed. Many family lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by speaking to one.