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Posted by Robin on May 9, 2015

How a DUI Arrest Can Affect a Child Custody Battle

Settling child custody arrangements is one of the most emotionally taxing details involved in the process of divorce. Couples looking to get divorced have to make important decisions in regards to how they want to share the responsibility of parenthood and child care now that they’ve agreed to do it separately. While it may entail some work, some couples are able to come to an amicable decision on their own. Still, there are moments when the court will need to step in to work through an impasse.

When deciding on a child custody case, the court’s priority is always the best interest of the child or children involved. In an ideal scenario, this means that both parents will have the opportunity to play equally active roles in the lives of their children through joint physical custody. If geographical factors prevent such an arrangement, both parents can still ideally share legal custody. However, there are some scenarios that could urge the court to grant sole custody and limit the visitation rights of one parent. One such case is when one of the parents has been arrested for drunk driving.

Driving under the influence or DUI is a very serious criminal offense. A Nashville DUI lawyer would probably tell you that a DUI arrest can lead to significant consequences and penalties. A conviction could entail a significant amount of fines or even some period of time in jail. It can also affect aspects of a person’s life. As such, a DUI arrest can very easily be an important deciding factor in a child custody case. Committing a DUI violation can considerably limit a parent’s right to play an active part in the lives of their children.

The court’s final decision will depend on the specific details of a DUI arrest. If the violation was made a few years back, the court’s final decision might be more sympathetic to the parent concerned. However, a more recent DUI arrest can be harder to shake off. A series of DUI arrests can be harder still, especially if an investigation proves a relation to an on-going substance abuse problem. A parent arrested of a DUI could be limited to some type of visitation limitation. Based on the details around the DUI arrest, he or she will have to make do with either of the following arrangements: scheduled visitation, reasonable visitation, or supervised visitation. A parent found unfit to care for a child will not receive any visitation rights at all.

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