Steven Fernandez |

Complex Divorce, Divorce Process

Will a Criminal Past Affect My Divorce?

If you have a criminal past, you may be wondering how or if that will come into play in your family law matters. This depends on just what issues are at hand in your divorce. It also depends on what your crime was. Many people have minor offenses on their record and these may not affect divorce proceedings at all.

However, if you have any violent offenses, offenses against children or other vulnerable populations, sexual offenses or a drug conviction, you may face opposition when it comes to certain elements of your divorce.

For example, if you have been convicted of assault or sexual abuse of a child, you will have your visitation rights severely limited. You may be prevented from seeing your children at all for a period of time or you may be granted limited supervised visitation. If you have committed an act of violence against your spouse, your divorce proceedings may involve a restraining order to protect your spouse after the divorce, which can be complicated.

As a result of your criminal past, you may be ordered to complete counseling or some other form of therapy in order to, or before, visiting your child. There are parenting specific classes that are often ordered in conjunction with divorce cases that involve minor children. These classes can focus on general co-parenting strategies or can help the offender rehabilitate themselves from their past abusive or violent behavior.

Unfortunately, in general, a criminal past may make your divorce a complex one, meaning it can last longer and therefore end up being more expensive, especially if children are involved.

For cases involving minor children, a parenting evaluator may be ordered to evaluate your capability of being a good parental figure to your child. These evaluators may work for months on evaluating your parenting skills and this can come at a great cost to you. Unfortunately, this may be required for you to be granted visitation with your child. Your spousal support amount may also be adjusted to reflect abusive behavior, to cover the costs of therapy or counseling for example.

All these extra steps are in place to look out for the best interests of the minor children involved in the divorce and to protect spouses as well. Speak with an experienced family law attorney if you feel your criminal past may affect your divorce proceedings to make sure you take all the right steps towards obtaining an outcome you are happy with.

Are you in the Los Angeles area and have questions about what might affect your divorce case? Steven Fernandez, Certified Family Law Specialist, has experience handling many complex divorce issues in Los Angeles County. Attorney Steven Fernandez will listen to your story and can ensure your criminal past does not greatly affect your divorce case. Call our Los Angeles office at (310) 393-0236; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form to schedule your free consultation with one of Los Angeles’s premier family law attorneys.

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