How Will a DUI Affect a Child Custody Ruling?


During any divorce case, the judge will take the children’s best interests into account when making any sort of child custody ruling, and that includes looking into the driving records of all parties involved. One key part of a driving record that the court looks at is whether or not you have any DUI convictions on your record. While each case is handled differently, there are several aspects of a DUI conviction that the judge will consider during the trial.

Was There Time Apart?

DUI convictions may involve jail time, and depending on how long your sentence was, could mean that you were absent for a significant portion of your child’s life. The court may look at this absence as a reason to award your soon to be ex-spouse with a more favorable custody ruling, especially if they were the sole provider for their child during that period.

Is Living With You A Dangerous Situation?

Any history of a DUI conviction may cause the court to view you as a dangerous parent, especially since providing transportation for children is an important responsibility for any parent or guardian. Driving under the influence creates a dangerous situation for everyone on the road, especially any passengers in your car.

Were Your Children Present in the Car?

It could be even more problematic if your children were in the car when you were pulled over for a DUI. The court may consider that actively endangering your children, possibly even evidence of child abuse, and will be more likely to award a favorable ruling to your soon to be ex-spouse.

Is Your License Suspended?

If your license is suspended for any extended period of time, the court may be more likely to award your soon to be ex-spouse with a more favorable ruling. Depending on your situation, lacking the ability to provide your children with transportation may negatively affect their lives, and therefore make living with you a less favorable option.

Do You Have Multiple DUIs?

Having multiple DUIs on your record is never a good thing, and will likely have an effect on your child custody ruling. Repeated convictions could indicate larger issues with your ability to act responsibly, and may make the judge more inclined to award your soon to be ex-spouse with a favorable ruling.

Under California law, a DUI conviction can be dropped from your driving record after 10 years, as long as it wasn’t a criminal conviction. However, if it’s been less than the 10 years necessary to clear your record, you can expect to face a tough battle in court to ensure that you can remain a major part of your children’s lives. In order to give yourself the best chance of securing a favorable outcome, contact the attorneys at Family Law Advocacy Group today. Our Rancho Cucamonga child custody Lawyer understand what it takes to handle these situations to provide you with the strongest case possible. Call us at (909) 992-0188 to speak with one of our attorneys, or fill out our online form to get started with a free case consultation.

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