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How criminal charges could affect your child custody case

Divorces that also include children inherently give rise to important decisions that need to be decided prior to the final divorce decree. Paramount on that list of concerns is the issue of child custody. In a previous article on our website blog, we discussed how most family law courts in Alameda County will require both parents to attend Child Custody Recommending Counseling Services. These are provided free of charge to both parties, and they are designed primarily to assist parents in working out the specifics of their child custody and visitation rights.

You need to know that the Family Court Services of California recommends that parents seek guidance from their attorneys and obtain the support of any therapists or family members prior to attending the CCR meetings. For couples where at least one spouse has criminal charges, meeting with an attorney prior to these visits can be very important.

That's because the CCR counselor's recommendation to the court will likely include information regarding any criminal offenses. Family law judges consider a wide array of factors, including criminal charges, when determining child custody issues. Generally, a court will make their determinations based on what they believe would be in the children's best interests.

Simply having a criminal history does not necessarily mean that it will have an adverse effect on the ultimate child custody determination. A court is likely to consider the type of offense and how long ago it occurred. The court may also be interested in whether there were multiple convictions for the same type of crime. All of these factors could indicate that one parent may be able to provide greater stability and development for any children under his or her care.

You need an attorney that can help you minimize the effect of your criminal convictions on the overall outcome of your child custody case. Alternatively, an attorney can help you emphasize your spouse's criminal history if you believe that awarding greater custody to that spouse may be detrimental to your child's development.

Based in Livermore, the attorneys at our law firm have provided legal advocacy for clients in family law matters throughout the greater Bay Area. With a combined experience of over 35 years, we are confident that our firm can help better prepare you for confronting issues involving criminal charges, and their effect on child custody decisions.

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