Death of a Parent: What Happens to the Child?

Child custody is often a tricky subject. Two parents going at it over who will have custodial rights of their child can turn out badly, and the laws that will eventually lead to a judge’s decision are rather complex. Unfortunately, when a parent dies with legal custody of their child, the complexity related to these issues becomes even more daunting. This is why all parents should fully understand what their child may face in the event of a parent’s death.

One Parent still Alive

Many individuals believe that if one parent dies, the other parent automatically has custody. Well, this is true in some cases, but definitely not in all. If the two parents are married and share custody of their children, the surviving parent would obviously retain custodial guardianship over the child. If the parents are divorced, however, the waters can get a bit more murky.

The granting of legal custody to a surviving parent isn’t automatic if the two were divorced and only one had legal custody. Now, it’s important to note that judges are usually inclined to grant custody to the surviving parent, but they’ll definitely consider a few factors before doing this.

The factors considered are similar in many states. According to www.dgtucson.com in Arizona, for instance, along with several other states, judges will consider the child’s wishes, any parental criminal activity, the relationship the parent has with the child and even whether or not the deceased parent stated in their will that they wanted a specific person to have custody. Regardless of what’s going on, the surviving parent, if divorced, will need to file a petition to modify custody.

Both Parents Deceased

If both parents are deceased, child custody becomes a whole other issue. As in most cases after a custodial parent’s death, a judge will grant temporary custody to someone seen as fit for raising the child. Unfortunately, if there are no surviving family members, such as grandparents, and the parents didn’t leave a will, the child could end up in foster care.

This is why it’s essential for parents to have a will stating who they’d like to care for their children in the event of their deaths. In many cases, the courts would decide upon having a child stay with other family members, but if a parent prefers to have a godparent or friend care for their child, they’ll need to have this in their will. This is also imperative if there are no other surviving family members.

In cases where both parents die and there are multiple parties seeking custody, such as a godparent and grandparents, an individual will need to file a petition for custody with the courts. This is basically the case in most situations involving the death of at least one custodial parent, and it would behoove a person to seek out a family law attorney to help in their quest for custody.

The death of a parent can be devastating for a child. Unfortunately, months following the tragedy can be just as difficult if a custodial plan wasn’t figured out before their death. Even in the presence of a will, however, child custody can be contested. According to the lawyers at www.dgtucson.com, family law may often seem straightforward, but it can be extremely complicated. There is no steadfast rule of law that will determine who gets custody every time. Judges are tasked with deciding what’s best for the welfare of the child, and in reality, this is usually a good thing.

Literature on Divorce for Older Children

divorce lawApproximately half of marriages, in the United States, end in divorce.  While not every married couple has children, it can be assumed that a large number of children are faced with their parents’ divorce each year.  When parents decide to divorce it is their responsibility, for the well-being of their child, to discuss the divorce with their child.  Many parents seek out additional resources, such as books, to make their discussion a bit easier or to answer questions that may be hard to answer on their own.  There is a plethora of books for younger children, specifically between the ages of 4 – 9, that are specifically written about divorce.  Many of the books are picture books with colorful illustrations concentrating on using simple concepts and a discussion of emotions.  Aside from “self-help” type of books, there are fewer books on divorce available for pre-teen and adolescent children.  While the needs of an older child are different from young children, a book addressing divorce can be helpful to an older reader.

Stereotypically, girls are most often classified as “readers”.  Much of the pre-teen and adolescent fiction and non-fiction literature discussing divorce has female protagonists or themes aimed at young women.  Parents of pre-teen and adolescent boys may need to search a bit more, but there are books with adolescent boys as the protagonists dealing with family issues like divorce.

Homesick, a 2012 release by Kate Klise, is a novel with a young male protagonist, appropriate for readers between 9 and 12 years old.  The main character, Benny, lives with his parents who have separated.  His mother has left the family and his father has hoarding issues.  Many readers may connect with Benny and the pressure and need to be responsible in his crumbling home life.  Reflected in a Kirkus Review, “Benny gets a job at the local radio station to scrape together money to pay the phone bill so he can stay in touch with his mother. She’s planning to get settled and return for him at the end of the school year, but Benny’s dad is spiraling downward fast.”

While Benny’s scenario may seem “too big to be true”, children of divorced parents may relate to Benny’s situation and his feelings.  Sometimes a story, bigger than their own, might make a child feel better about their own situation.

Children, of any age, may benefit from tools, such as literature, when dealing with divorce in their family.  Parents and children can connect through literature and gain a better understanding about divorce.  Literature can remind children, of any age, that divorce is not their fault, not their responsibility, and despite the situation, a parent’s love still remains before, during and after the divorce.

For more information about divorce please visit the website of Charles Ullman, a Cary, NC Divorce Lawyer at divorcelawnc.com.

A Tampa Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Money

When most people think of divorce, they envision scenes from War of the Roses or Kramer vs. Kramer. Yet more people in Tampa Bay are learning that there is another way, collaborative divorce, which is just a sensible method to resolve private family disputes. However, just as mediation was characterized in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a rich person’s option, many people think that the collaborative process is only for the very wealthy. Not only attorneys, but also a collaborative facilitator and financial professional are retained, so only the very rich can afford the collaborative model, right?

Wrong.

A four year study conducted by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals found that 87% of female participants and 47% of male participants of collaborative family law cases had an annual income of less than $100,000.

Though the collaborative process may not be the cheapest in all cases, it has a substantial opportunity to save you money as compared to the courtroom battles we have all come to associate with divorce.

First, child issues, such as custody schedules and decision-making authority, are some of the most emotional and costliest issues in family law matters. Lawyers in courtroom cases tend to prepare interrogatories (questions) to be answered under penalty of perjury, set depositions, conduct opposition research to put the other spouse in the worst possible light, and prepare for trial. Attorneys’ invoices pile up along each stage of this process. Alternatively, these fees and costs can be greatly reduced in the collaborative process where facilitators, who usually are licensed mental health professionals, can cut through the clutter of emotionally-charged issues and bring the clients (and lawyers) to focus on the future and best interests of the children.

Similarly, a financial professional (who is usually either an accountant or financial planner) adds cost-saving value to the process. In litigated cases, lawyers prepare “requests for production of documents and things” that demand reams of financial documents which could conceivably be relevant. Searching for those documents cost clients tremendous time and money while, when received, the requesting attorney will spend countless billable hours meticulously combing through the documents. In the collaborative process, on the other hand, the financial professional will only request documents that are necessary to make an informed settlement option. His or her expertise in finances enables the financial professional to review and assess the documents and develop settlement options more quickly (and often times at a lower rate) than attorneys.

Finally, the dirty little secret in family law is that the vast majority of litigation cases eventually settle. However, because having a judge decide on the parties’ personal matters always remains a threat, in traditional courtroom divorce the attorneys will always work on two tracks: (i) attempt to settle the case while (ii) conducting opposition research and preparing for the courtroom battle in case the parties cannot come to an agreement. In the collaborative process, attorneys are retained solely for the purpose of settlement and are contractually barred from taking disputes to be decided in court, and so they are not racking up those billable hours planning to fight it out in court.

Now, back to the question, is collaborative divorce only for the wealthy? Absolutely not, and I would be happy to speak with you and talk more about how the process can help your family.

If you have questions regarding how a Tampa Bay collaborative divorce process can help you, schedule a consultation with attorney Adam B. Cordover at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

Adam B. Cordover is Vice President of the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Adam spearheaded the taskforce that drafted the Hillsborough County collaborative family practice administrative order signed by Chief Judge Manuel Menendez.

Canadian divorce law: getting to understand child custody

After a divorce, families have to go through very hard moments. One of the two parents, for example, will have to leave the home and find a new place to live. The children could live very high stress because of a change in their living habits and the disappearance of a parent. Another stressful subject is child custody: who should take care of the kids after the divorce? This question tears apart many families and its answer vary from a country to another. If you are from Canada, the following article could give you basic insights on the subject.

How is the custody decision taken?

If there is a disagreement between the two parents and their divorce lawyer in regards to who will get the custody, an assessor could have to interview the parents in order to evaluate their parenting abilities. He will also visit the environment in which the child would live and analyze if it is suitable for him. After talking with the child to find out about his preferences, if he believes he would need extra information to make a good decision, the assessor can also discuss with relatives or professionals who have been in contact with the child.

This professional, though, cannot force the court to take a decision: he will only formulate recommendations. Sometimes, the judge will only hear out the different parties without hiring a third party to help. The opinion of an adolescent could be considered more important than the opinion of a child, even though some parents will play tricks in order to influence it.

The types of child custody

Based on each familial situation, the judge may decide to establish different kinds of custodies. Here are the four possible outcomes:

Sole custody: After hearing both parties, the judge may decide that only one parent should take care of the children. This parent will have full custody and will be entitled to taking all the main decisions regarding the children’s life.

Joint custody: In this case, the two parents will have to take care of the children. Sometimes, the father will be in charge of them one weekend out of two, for example.

Shared custody: Similar to joint custody, this main different of this alternative is that both parents will take care of at least 40% of the children’s custody.

Split custody: Even though split custody is pretty rare as it may disturb a family’s cohesion, it still exists. It means that the different children’s custody will be separated between the two parents.

Visitation rights

Most people will at least receive access to their children even if they do not get custody. Most of the time, these will be part of an agreement between the two parents. Two reasons could force the court to remove visitation rights: if abuses have occurred or if one’s parenting abilities are judged to be insufficient. Supervised access could still be granted in such situations, if the court agrees to it.

Relocation issues

In conclusion, take note that parents who received custody of a child cannot easily move away with him. If the other parent disagrees, an application will have to be filed to explain to the judge why it would be in the child’s interests to move away. If the application is able to prove that the family’s life will be better off after the relocation, for example if the parent has found a much better job elsewhere, it could be accepted by the judge.

Are Child Custody Laws Biased Against Fathers in Washington State

Changes in child custody law reflect the changes in American families that have taken place over the last several generations. Earlier eras assigned child care duties to the mother and tasked the father with supporting the family’s economic needs. While this traditional structure still prevails in some families, many homes today see both parents working outside the home and sharing child care responsibilities. There are also families today in which the father takes care of the children while the mother serves as the breadwinner.

While the structure of families has evolved greatly in modern times, child custody laws in some states have failed to keep pace. Some fathers trying to win custody of their children may be confronted with archaic statutes that preference maternal rights and leave fathers wondering if child custody laws are biased against them.

Washington Child Custody Laws Are Gender Neutral

Child custody statutes vary by state. While a handful of states retain an explicit preference for awarding primary custody to the mother, the state of Washington has adopted a gender-neutral standard. In Washington State, as well as many other states across the country, the prevailing factor in child custody cases is what outcome is in the best interest of the child. While there is no guarantee that a father won’t encounter a biased judge, the laws in Washington regarding child custody make no reference to gender. In fact, in Washington divorce cases, state statutes encourage parents and judges to agree to joint custody whenever possible.

In Washington State, joint custody may be awarded if the following minimum conditions are met: each parent is active in making decisions for the child, the proximity of the parents allows a joint custody arrangement to be feasible, and the parents are willing or able to work together to serve the child’s best interests.

If one parent is awarded sole custody, the non-custodial parent will usually be awarded visitation rights. Visitation rights are granted in almost all circumstances, except in cases of abuse or abandonment. Child support in Washington may be ordered of either parent, regardless of gender.

Custody Cases in Washington State Require a Parenting Plan

Washington law requires parents who are fighting a custody battle to submit, and eventually agree to, a parenting plan. Each parent may draw up their own plan and then negotiate a final agreement in front of a judge or mediator. Alternatively, both parents may agree on a joint parenting plan by themselves, and then present it to a judge for approval.

Parenting plans will differ for each family, and joint custody is often different from equal custody. Although Washington law does not preference maternal rights, it does allow that the best interest of the child may require a majority of his or her time to be spent with one parent. While gender is not a factor is assigning these responsibilities, the courts will take into account each parent’s financial status, work schedule, proximity to the child, the existing relationship between the child and each parent, and the parents themselves.

Fathers Often do not Fight for Child Custody

Statistics demonstrate that nationwide, mothers are granted sole custody more often than fathers. These statistics do not necessarily represent a legal bias against fathers; the fact is that many fathers do not ask for sole or joint custody, but cede these rights without contest. In Washington State, there is no legal reason why a father seeking to protect the best interests of his children should not get a fair hearing.

About the author

Kevin Danielson is a freelance writer who concentrates on a variety of legal topics such as Personal Injury, Brain Injuries, Family Law, Intellectual Property and others as well.

Guidelines for Being Awarded Alimony

divorceWhen two people decide that it is time for them to end their marriage and get a divorce, the idea of alimony payments is always brought up. Alimony is a monthly financial payment from one spouse to support the other after a marriage ends. Alimony payments were historically made from the husband to the wife, the idea being that the husband was the one who worked and the wife would be the one to stay home and raise children. Since the ’70s there has been a movement in the other direction towards equality, and today where many wives support stay-at-home husbands, alimony is paid both ways.  This is determined by assessing the financial situation of each person involved and after taking into account certain factors concerning the marriage. Here are the guidelines that are followed to determine who is awarded alimony after a divorce.

Determining Who Has the Ability to Earn an Income

The main factor that is taken into consideration when it is determined which person will pay alimony is the ability to earn an income. Alimony used to be easier to determine when there was only one earner in a marriage, but in today’s world it’s far more difficult. In many cases, both members of the marriage have good careers and earn their own income, but they still wish to be awarded alimony. It can be difficult to discern which party needs the extra income. When there is only one person with an ability to earn a living because the other spouse gave up a career to raise children, then that person would be the one who would be required to pay alimony. The court also takes each person’s ability to earn a future income into consideration, so if a stay-at-home wife left a successful career, that would also count.

Determining Who Has the Ability to Pay Alimony

In some cases, neither spouse earns an income, but instead live off of a passive income. Lotto winnings, a trust fund, income from investments, or savings are all examples of passive income. In these cases, the person who the money belongs to is the one who has the ability to pay alimony, even though they are not actively earning an income.

Standard of Living and Length of the Marriage

One of the big factors of a divorce is making sure each person has the ability to maintain the same standard of living that they had during the marriage. A high standard of life would need to be maintained for each person, which would result in higher alimony payments.

The amount of time the marriage lasted is also a major factor. If a week-long marriage ends in divorce, then there would not be a significant amount of alimony paid out. However, if a marriage lasted over 10 years the amount of alimony would be significant.

It can be difficult to see your marriage come to an end, but even worse is being in a situation where you give up your career and dedicate your life to one person only to end up divorced with no form of income. Alimony is designed to protect people from situations like that, and the first step to getting alimony is to know the guidelines that are followed when determining who is awarded alimony.

If you are going through a divorce and you think you will have to pay alimony or are hoping to receive alimony payments, contact a lawyer who can advocate for you.  Charles R. Ullman & Associates is a spousal support/alimony law firm located in North Carolina.  For more information about spousal support, visit the website at www.DivorceLawCary.com.

Divorce: Is Your Child the One Suffering?

divorceGoing through a divorce is a stressful and upsetting time for a couple, but you have to keep in mind that this is an extremely stressful time for your children as well. Learning that their parents are splitting and that everything they know is about to change is daunting. Make sure your choice to divorce does not cause your child to suffer unnecessarily. Below are three tips to help your child manage a divorce healthily.

Be Conscious of What Will Upset Your Child

A divorce will probably result in a lifestyle change for your child, and a huge change in their daily routine can cause a child to feel stressed. Try to keep your child’s life as consistent as possible: keep them in the same school, surround them with their same friends, and make sure they keep up the same activities they’ve always loved. Maintaining a routine and schedule when another aspect of their life has become chaotic is integral.

It is also hugely important to make sure you keep heated and emotional debates between you and your partner to a minimum. Arguing, fighting, name-calling or any other nasty behavior does not need to be witnessed by your child. Even if the divorce was messy, remember that this person is still a parent to your child. Avoid blaming their parent, bad-mouthing their parent or fighting if your child can hear. At the end of the day, a child needs to know that both his parents are still in his life and still love him, regardless of the divorce.

Encourage Conversation With Your Child

Another way to ensure that your child manages a divorce the best they can and doesn’t suffer through it is to encourage them to voice their feelings and concerns. Initiate conversation with your child and talk about the changes they can expect to happen during the course of the divorce. Help them put their feelings into words, and listen to their response. It is important to let your child know that the way they are feeling is normal and that you respect their feelings.

If your child isn’t encouraged to speak about the divorce, this could have a negative impact on their behavior. Young children might have a change in appetite, their sleep patterns might be affected, or their behavior in school could be impacted. If your kids are older, they might take uncharacteristic risks. Letting your children speak will only help them emotionally.

Talk Care of Yourself and Learn to Manage Stress

The way you take care of yourself and manage the divorce will also affect your child. If you let the stress of custody and divorce paperwork get the better of you, you might fail to properly care for yourself. When you properly care for yourself and manage stress well, your child will learn how to handle stress and change in a healthy way. Get support if need be so that you can take care of yourself and your children.

Going through a divorce is always going to be a difficult time, but don’t make it unnecessarily difficult for your children. Follow these three tips to help your child healthily manage the new changes in their life. Your divorce shouldn’t result in your child suffering.

If you are going through a divorce, it is important to seek legal representation to mediate the situation and protect your child.  Charles R. Ullman & Associates, Attorneys at Law, are experienced divorce lawyers who can help you manage stress during this difficult time, ultimately shielding your child from the unhealthy effects.  For more information about this North Carolina law firm and how they can help you, visit the website at  www.divorcelawnc.com .  

Common Factors in Determining Custody Battles

child custody

Going through a divorce is a difficult time, both for the couple involved and their children. What makes it especially difficult is deciding who gets custody and how the child’s time will be divided between parents. Judges will determine a custody battle by considering what is best for the child and looking out for the best interests of the child. However, there are several factors involved that will determine a judge’s decision. Below are a few common factors that will determine the outcome of a custody battle.

The Child’s Age and Gender

The first factors that a judge will probably consider when settling a custody battle is the age and gender of your child. If a couple’s child is very young, chances are in the mother’s favor. That being said, nowadays a judge does not usually have a gender preference when determining custody. That is, a father will not necessarily get custody of his son and a mother will not necessarily get custody of her daughter. The judge will examine which parent can better provide care to a child of a particular age and gender. It is also important to note that siblings are unlikely to be separated.

The Child’s Personal Preference

The child’s personal preference is also taken into consideration. However, how much weight this factor holds will depend on the age of the child. While a 6 year old’s opinion will be considered, it will likely not hold as much weight as the opinion of a 14 year old. While it differs between states, generally when a child is between the age of 12 and 14 his opinion begins to receive more substantial weight.

The Parent’s Lifestyle 

There are a variety of factors regarding the parents that a judge will consider. First and foremost, a judge will consider which parent can best provide for their child’s physical, emotional, and medical needs. A parent’s health and their financial stability are both common factors influencing the outcome. For example, a mother who frequently moves, thereby uprooting her child’s education and influencing their grades, will not be seen as beneficial for the child. Other factors considered by a judge are whether or not any allegations of abuse, neglect or violence have ever been filed against either parent, whether any claims have been falsely filed, and how willing a parent is to let the other parent see the child. The parent who is awarded custody must be able to provide their child with the necessities of life.

The Child and Parent’s Relationship

Another one of the most important common factors a judge considers is the relationship the child has with either parent. If one parent has been more present for the child’s life so far, that parent will probably have a better chance of winning custody. Love, affection, and emotional ties are all strongly considered by a judge.

Going through a divorce is stressful enough, but the added stress of custody can make the whole situation overwhelming. If you’re headed into court to determine who gets custody of a child, remember that a judge will not make a decision on just one factor. All of the above are common factors that a judge considers. At the end of the day, a judge will make a decision that is in the best interest of the child.

If you are amidst a custody battle, you should seek a professional to help you fight for the rights of your child.   Charles R. Ullman & Associates is a team of child custody lawyers with experience advocating for children and their best interests in North Carolina.  For more information about custody battles and processes, visit the website at www.DivorceLawCary.com.

Hazardous Playgrounds: Can My Ex Take My Child There?

Playground Hazardous Playgrounds: Can My Ex Take My Child There?

In any marriage, parents will have different ideas about properly raising children. These disputes regarding parenting styles continue after couples divorce. Some parents will be more permissive to the point of ignoring a hazardous environment, such as an old and battered playground. When one parent is irresponsible with the child’s safety, the other parent should be motivated to take action.

Criminal Penalties

Criminal sanctions for taking a child to a playground are usually not possible. Child endangerment statutes vary between jurisdictions, but generally, there has to be intent to place the child into a dangerous situation. California law requires criminal negligence, which is a much higher standard than ordinary negligence. Taking a child to a playground that has peeling paint or the occasional sharp edge would probably not meet this standard.

If the parent is taking the child along to meet with drug dealers at the local playground, discussing the situation with the local police may be prudent. In practice, getting the police to file charges and getting the prosecutor to pursue the case can be difficult.

Custody Dispute

Divorcing parents have a high probability of being involved in a dispute over joint custody. In most states, custody decisions are made by the courts. Judges can modify custody arrangements at their discretion in most jurisdictions. While a parent may not be criminally liable for bringing a child to a hazardous playground, a judge can set conditions on the parent’s custody.

Endangering the child by taking him or her to a hazardous location may not constitute criminal liability, but it can sway a judge. The court can either order the parent to not bring the child to that location or modify the parent’s right to custody. Parents often raise trivial issues during custody disputes, so the judge will want proof that the playground is actually dangerous. Showing evidence of blatant criminal activity, drug usage, and other serious safety problems can sway the judge.

Liability

In the event of an injury, our Charleston personal injury attorney adviser points out that a property owner who fails to maintain the property may be liable. If the property had hidden defects, such as rusted or sharp equipment, the property owner must either warn guests or repair the defect. Failing to do so constitutes a breach of the property owner’s duty of care, and may make the property owner liable for negligence. A playground is likely to be in a public park or school. Thus, the city would be liable for failing to maintain its facilities.

Filing a lawsuit against the spouse for the same cause of action is also possible. The guardian has a duty to care for the child, and taking the child to a hazardous location may constitute a breach of that duty. If the plaintiff can show that the playground was actually dangerous, then the parent may sue on behalf of the child as his or her legal guardian. Lawsuits are expensive. Additionally, lawsuits will cement an adversarial relationship between the parties, which can have detrimental effects on the way that the child views one or both parents. Thus, parents should view a lawsuit as a last result.

Divorced parents will often disagree with one another. Parents who have disputes over where the adult should take the child should first discuss the issue with the other parent. Failing that, modifying the custody agreement may be possible. Parents do not have the right to endanger their children simply because they have custody at the moment.

Ann Bailey is a parent and contributor for research about playground safety. She adds this report highlighting work that can be done by lawyers like the Charleston personal injury attorney firm of Howell and Christmas, a U.S. group offering clients help and protection in litigation and compensation for instances of child injury or death.

 

Divorce and Drinking in CA: Will a DUI Affect My Custody Rights?

When parents are going through a divorce that involves a battle for the custody of children, there are considerations when DUI charges are pending or were present in the past. California courts are concerned with the safety, well-being and proper care of the children. Having physical custody of a child involves many responsibilities. Ultimately, the goal of the court system is to place children in a home that offers optimum parenting skills.

If you are trying to obtain legal custody and not physical custody, a DUI may still be a serious consideration. Decisions about a child’s health, education and many other details of their daily life may be better handled by the parent that shows responsibility through their own actions.

What Else May a DUI Charge Imply?

Our Walnut Creek DUI lawyer in California suggests that the court will want to know your background as a parent. If you have a current DUI charge, is it because you are a partier? If so, will parenting take a backseat to the lure of your social life? Was the child present in the car when you were stopped for the violation? Even if you had just dropped off your child or were just arriving to pick up her up, that is a serious situation and concern for the court when making custody decisions.

Current DUI Charge

The wisest decision you can make when faced with a DUI charge while a custody hearing is in progress, is to get an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with DUI cases. If you live in Northern California, contacting an attorney local to the area is essential to helping you achieve a favorable outcome. In fact, if this DUI is your first offense, a California court may allow a plea bargain that will reduce the charge so that no DUI will be entered on the records.

While the DUI charge may enter into the decision about custody, facing the charge and making an effort to resolve the issue will also have an impact, and hopefully, a positive one. Calling an attorney as early as possible after a DUI arrest is important because he or she can counsel you in many ways if they are involved in the case from the beginning. You could even choose a lawyer who is experienced in both DUI and child custody issues.

Past DUI Charges

Some other things to think about if you have past DUI charges on you record are: How did you handle those? Did you have more than one? Was it determined that you had a drinking problem? If so, did you complete a program to conquer the addiction and did that result in no additional DUI charges? A continuing history of DUIs is extremely detrimental to a custody hearing.

Another issue that may have adverse effects on your child custody case is if the DUI charge was coupled with other charges. Did the DUI involve an accident? Were any criminal charges filed? Were people hurt or was property damaged? All of these factors will be considered in your ability to care for your children.

Finding the Best DUI Attorney

As a parent facing a custody battle and a DUI issue, you will undoubtedly need the best attorney you can afford. Sharing custody of your children, at least part of the time, is a big incentive to get an attorney on your side as soon as the DUI charge is filed. A qualified legal team will be instrumental in helping you by offering the best possible options and alternatives in your specific situation. Knowing all your options and what actions you need to take is vital to the success of both your DUI charge and your custody hearing.

Karla M. Somers has worked as a child advocate and family mediator for divorce and custody cases in the state of New York. She is a contributing writer for the Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson, a dedicated Walnut Creek DUI lawyer team who is passionate about DUI defense and parental rights cases. They can answer your questions and help you put legal matters behind you.