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Will Criminal Charges Affect Your Long Island Divorce?

by | Jul 30, 2019 | Divorce Long Island, NY

Although criminal charges and family legal matters are handled in two different courts, they sometimes overlap. When they do, one may impact the other. Often, it’s criminal charges incurred during a divorce that affect the divorce instead of vice versa. Find out how a divorce influenced by criminal charges and when should you contact a divorce attorney?

What Kinds of Criminal Charges Are Common in Long Island Divorce Cases?

While any kind of criminal charge can coincide with a divorce, it may or may not be directly related to the divorce. Some charges are, however, more common than others in family legal matters.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is all-too-frequently seen in Long Island divorce cases. Often, abuse causes the need for divorce. However, false allegations of domestic violence in a divorce are also common as one spouse attempts to gain the upper hand over the other.

DUI and Drug Offenses

Divorces are emotional and people may choose to self-medicate depression, anxiety, anger, and sadness. This can lead to drunk driving or drug possession charges, among other drug and alcohol-related offenses. Or, parents may already be involved with drugs and the divorce causes this information to come into the hands of authorities.

Parental Kidnapping

Parental kidnapping occurs when one parent takes the child without the permission or knowledge of the other parent. Many times, this is unintentional; they may have misunderstood visitation times. This is particularly common with new custody orders or when a custody order is modified. However, often a parent may intentionally take the child with the purpose of keeping them away from the other parent.

How Criminal Charges Affect the Divorcing Family

Criminal charges are difficult at any time, however, they can add unique challenges to an already strenuous situation. If your spouse was arrested and needs bail money, you may object to marital funds being used. Or, you may want your spouse out of jail to continue earning an income or helping care for your children. The loss of your spouse’s license after a DUI can be problematic, especially if you live in an area without good public transportation. You might be stuck driving your spouse to and from their place of employment if it’s important to you that they continue working.

Additionally, criminal charges can add layers of emotion to a divorce. Domestic violence, in particular, causes significant trauma and psychological distress, however, even just the process of getting arrested and charged with any crime can be emotionally draining when it coincides with a divorce. Children are often distressed by seeing a parent go through criminal proceedings, especially if they’re old enough to have a basic understanding of what criminal charges are and how they work.

What Happens If You’re Convicted

If you’re convicted of a crime, this means that a judge or court has found you guilty and you will have to face the imposed consequences. This could include jail time, hefty fines, mandatory counseling, and other penalties that can affect every facet of your life. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, this can also make it more difficult for you to successfully obtain custody of your children. For example, if you were convicted of domestic violence recently or even in the past, a judge will be less likely to award you with as much visitation time as they might have if you didn’t have a criminal record. Some crimes can prevent a parent from getting any custody or visitation at all; for example, a judge may revoke the parental rights of individuals charged with child abuse or child sexual abuse.

When to Talk to a Long Island Family Law Firm

If you or your ex-spouse have been faced with criminal charges during your divorce, it’s important to work with an experienced Long Island family law firm who can help you understand how criminal charges may impact your divorce case.

We’re dedicated to providing our clients with comprehensive legal advocacy during difficult times, and we offer aggressive, zealous support both in divorce court and in settlement negotiations. Our goal is to protect your rights and best interests under Long Island law throughout your divorce. Contact us today for a free initial consultation at 631-923-1910.

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Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
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