Can having a criminal record impact a court’s child custody decision in Tennessee?

handcuffs gavel

If you are undergoing the divorce process with children, you will have to decide on a child custody agreement. If you cannot reach an agreement on child custody, the court will make the decision. A judge will evaluate various factors to determine a child custody agreement that values the best interests of a child. As several factors are assessed, many wonder whether having a criminal record could impact a court’s custody determination. Keep reading to learn whether a criminal record can affect a child custody decision and how a determined Memphis, Tennessee Child Custody Lawyer can help you. 

Can I get custody of my child if I have a criminal record in Tennessee?

Essentially, when the court is determining a child custody agreement, its most significant concern is protecting the best interests of a child. This means protecting a child’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. To ensure they safeguard the overall well-being of a child, the court examines numerous factors. In most cases, if possible, the court will try to award joint custody. This is because the court believes it is in a child’s best interest to benefit from having a relationship with both parents. However, in some cases, joint custody is not possible. If the court has valid reasoning to believe that a child’s well-being would be in danger if one parent was awarded any form of custody or parenting time, they can deny a parent custody and visitation.

Furthermore, if you have a criminal record it can significantly impact the court’s decision on child custody. However, this doesn’t mean it will prevent a parent from being awarded custody. Ultimately, the impact a criminal record has on a custody determination depends on several things. First, it matters how long ago you were charged with the crime. Secondly, it matters what type of criminal offense you were charged with. For instance, if you were charged with theft 15 years ago and you have no subsequent offenses, your criminal record will not weigh heavily on a custody determination. However, if you commit a violent crime or a sex crime, it almost always results in being denied custody. This is because the nature of the crime warrants concern that the child may not be safe with the parent. The court will take whether a parent has a criminal record into consideration when making a custody decision. Whether it has a significant impact on the determination depends on the nature of the crime, how long ago it happened, and whether there were subsequent offenses. Ultimately, a criminal record can significantly impact a court’s custody decision. However, you can still get custody of your child if you have a criminal record. A criminal record does not necessarily bar you from being awarded custody as various other factors are taken into consideration.

If you are seeking custody of your child and you have a criminal record, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our trusted and skilled team members. A criminal record can significantly impact a custody determination. However, our firm can help you navigate the complexities of this process to seek a favorable outcome. Our firm is committed to helping our clients protect the best interests of their children.