Can Having a Criminal Record Impact a Court’s Custody Decision in NY?

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There is nothing more important to a parent than protecting the well-being of their child. That being said, when courts move to make custody decisions, they will have to consider several factors. If you are someone who has a criminal record, or your spouse has a criminal record, you may wonder if this will influence the court’s custody decision. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Suffolk County child custody attorney from the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today for more information.

Does having a criminal record sway a court’s custody decision?

Unfortunately, there is no way of telling whether a criminal record will influence a court’s custody decision without knowing the nature of the crime the person was convicted of. For example, courts will surely consider an act of domestic violence that occurred three months ago far more than a DUI that happened 10 years ago. Notably, courts make custody determinations on what they consider to be in the best interests of the child. So, if the court determines that a crime committed by one parent in the past may show evidence that they are incapable of caring for a child’s best interests, or that they pose some sort of threat to their child, they likely will not award that parent primary custody. Ultimately, however, the court’s decision will depend on the specific circumstances of the parent’s criminal record.

What other factors do courts consider when making custody decisions?

As previously stated, the number one factor when it comes to determining a child custody agreement is a child’s best interests. If the court believes that a given decision would not work in a child’s best interests, it will not make said decision. Factors considered when determining a child’s best interests are as follows:

  • The bond the child shares with both parents
  • Whether both parents can provide a safe and stable living environment for the child
  • If the child is old or mature enough, whether he or she has a preference
  • Whether both parents can provide financially for the child
  • Whether a child may receive a better education if he or she is living with one parent
  • Any other factor the court deems relevant when it comes to protecting and preserving a child’s best interests

If you have any further questions about child custody in New York State or you’re looking to get custody of your child, please don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today. We are here to help in any way we can.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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