Robert W. Davis, Jr.,
Attorney at Law
CALL 662-269-4454

CALL 662-269-4454

Vigorously Protecting Your Rights

Photo of Robert W. Davis

How does a parent’s criminal record impact child custody?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Child Custody, Divorce, Federal Criminal Defense |

Parents have a natural wiring to do everything in their power to be there for their child in every possible capacity. In the wake of a child custody case, a parent can have either joint or sole legal custody to have a say on significant decisions about their child’s upbringing, and joint or sole physical custody to determine how often their child lives with or spends time with them.

But when one parent has a criminal history, it may lead the court to favor one parent over the other in custody rights. While there is no precise formula for guaranteed outcomes, child custody often results from combined determinants to meet the child’s best interests.

Careful consideration of relevant factors

Mississippi courts evaluate both parents’ circumstances and overall fitness to fulfill their parental obligations. But courts may raise additional questions and presumptions for parents with a criminal conviction.

Mississippi law differentiates federal and state criminal offenses. Federal offenders often commit embezzlement, drug trafficking, kidnapping, illegal firearm ownership, and insurance or mail fraud. On the other hand, state crimes include domestic violence, driving under the influence, sexual assault and theft.

If a parent violates any of these federal or state laws, they may be under court scrutiny with the following considerations:

  • The type and degree of the crime committed
  • The victim of the crime, whether it is the other parent, the child or another individual
  • How long ago the crime occurred or whether subsequent offenses occurred
  • The pattern or repeated involvement with criminal activities

These critical elements usually guide the judge in making a well-informed decision about child custody. This process only means that the more severe and recent the crime is, the higher the chances are for the judge to err on the other parent’s side.

Your past should not define your family’s future

Being a parent makes you every inch a fighter, pushing you forward in this impassioned effort to maintain a healthy relationship with your child. While past offenses may catch up with you, that does not necessarily mean getting a fair level of child custody is impossible. As you turn a new leaf, your legal representative can thoroughly establish your case and fight for your family’s future.


FindLaw Network

Start Protecting Your Future Today

To schedule an appointment to talk to me about your case, complete and submit the form below.