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How Will My Criminal History Impact My Divorce?

People from all walks of life have criminal records. Some people have had a DUI. Others have had convictions for assault or theft. When these people get divorced, many of them wonder how their criminal record will impact their dissolution proceedings. Unfortunately, for purposes of this blog post the answer has to be that it depends. There are many circumstances that can impact how much weight and consideration the court will give a previous violation of the law when deciding on family law issues. Here are a few ways that your criminal record may affect your family law proceedings. As with all legal issues on this blog, it is best to speak with an attorney that knows the details of your case about how your criminal record may impact your dissolution proceedings.

  1. Parenting Plan: If you have children, it becomes much more likely that the court will consider more seriously your criminal record. If your spouse is claiming that you are an alcoholic, the court will take a keen interest in your past alcohol offenses. If your spouse claims you are violent, the court will look at offenses involving violence with special interest. It likely goes without saying that criminal convictions involving children will likely be given the most attention.
  2. Restraining Orders: If your spouse is requesting a restraining order, and you have a criminal history that includes assault or other domestic violence crimes, it is likely the court will take these into consideration when deciding whether or not to grant a restraining order to your spouse.
  3. Property Division: If your spouse is claiming that you have hidden assets, the court may take crimes that show a history of deceptiveness into consideration when deciding whether to believe your spouse’s contention.

If you are getting divorced (or dealing with another family law issue) it is important that you advise your family law attorney about your complete criminal record as soon as possible. They may tell you that your record will be irrelevant to the issue you are facing, but they may also advise you to craft a legal strategy around properly addressing your criminal history.

If you have questions about how your criminal record may impact your family law case, please contact us today.