Plenty of good parents find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, family courts do not always look kindly on parents who have criminal records. If you have a conviction on your record or you are facing a criminal charge, you probably feel terrified about what could happen to your parental rights.
How Ohio weighs custody and criminal charges
A charge or conviction does not necessarily mean that you will lose custody. Courts in Ohio do not use a one-size-fits-all approach to child custody and visitation. The judge appointed to your case will carefully consider your past record or the charges against you. They will consider the child’s best interests when it comes to where they should live and whether they should continue to see you. Ultimately, they are weighing whether your child will have a stable and safe home environment with you.
Several factors come into play when judges evaluate the custodial arrangement of kids whose parents are involved in the justice system. Some of these factors include:
- Whether your actions endangered your child
- Whether your actions endangered your child’s other parent
- A history of domestic violence
- A history of sexual offenses
- A history of substance abuse
Speaking very broadly, most judges try to keep parents and children together whenever possible. Judges are human, and they understand how heart-wrenching it must feel to face the possibility of losing your children. If you can present a case that it is in your children’s best interests to have you in your life, then you stand a strong chance of receiving custody or parenting time. With that said, you should do everything in your power to have the best chance possible of protecting your rights with your kids.