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Can a DUI Affect My Child Custody Case?

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Can a DUI Affect My Child Custody Case?

If you are facing a child custody case, there’s a lot riding on it, which means you’re likely under considerable stress. If you have a DUI conviction on your record, the stakes are that much higher, and you’re very likely concerned about how it will affect the outcome of your case. Fortunately, an experienced Chicago child custody attorney can help you better understand how your case is likely to be resolved, how to protect your rights throughout, and what you can do to help mitigate the fact of your DUI

The Best Interests of Your Children

When Illinois courts are called upon to make decisions regarding child custody, they always defer to the best interests of the children involved, but they have considerable discretion in the matter. This means that while your DUI could play a significant role in the outcome of your case, it may not – generally depending on the circumstances involved and how they are interpreted by the court. The better you are able to distance your DUI from your abilities as a parent, the less likely it is to affect your parenting time schedule and parental responsibilities. 

Your Child Custody Arrangements

If you’re going through a divorce and you are hit with a DUI, it could directly affect the outcome of your child custody arrangements – depending upon the court’s determination on the matter. Your DUI, however, can have an effect on your child custody arrangements even if the court has already issued orders that have already been implemented. For example, if your ex goes after a child custody modification in response to your conviction for DUI, the court will likely take the DUI into careful consideration.

The Involved Circumstances

The circumstances of your DUI will play a role in how seriously it affects your child custody arrangements – or if it affects them at all. For example, if the DUI was your first, it was brought on by the stress of your divorce, you were not responsible for your children at the time, and you are seeking the help you need to take care of the underlying issue – such as going through treatment or getting counseling – the effect it has on the outcome of your child custody case may be minimal. Circumstances like the following, however, can exacerbate the problem:

  • If the DUI is not your first
  • If there are other signs that you may have a drinking problem
  • If one of your children was with you at the time you were stopped for DUI 

Consult with an Experienced Chicago Child Custody Attorney Today 

If you’re concerned about how a DUI charge or conviction could affect your child custody case, the savvy Chicago child custody attorneys at Andrea Heckman Law have the focus and legal insight to help. Your parental rights are paramount, so please don’t put off reaching out and contacting us for more information about what we can do to help you today.

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Andrea Heckman

Managing Attorney

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