Can Criminal Charges Affect Visitation Rights?
Criminal charges can negatively impact your parental rights in Georgia child custody proceedings.
When parents are divorced or are otherwise no longer living together, child custody and visitation is likely to be a major issue. Children tend to do better when both parents are actively involved in their lives and each parent has the right to spend the time needed with their child in order to form a close and loving relationship. However, the primary concern of the court in child custody cases is ensuring that the safety and well-being of the child is protected. If you are facing criminal charges, it could impact your parental rights in these proceedings.
When Criminal Charges are a Factor in Child Time Sharing Proceedings
When child custody and visitation is an issue between parents, it often requires a court order to resolve any differences. Under the Georgia Statutes, the court generally aims for a child time sharing plan, which allows both parents to remain active in their child’s life. In creating this plan, factors the judge is likely to consider include:
● Each parent’s current and prior relationship with the child;
● Each parent’s proven ability to provide for and nurture the child;
● Any special needs the child may have;
● Any issues or behaviors on the part of the parents that could potentially put the child in jeopardy.
If you are facing criminal charges, this could jeopardize your parental rights. Depending on the situation and the exact nature of your charges, the amount of time you are permitted to spend with the child may be limited, or you may be required to undergo supervised visitation.
Protecting Your Rights to Visitation
In the state of Georgia, parenting plans are used in determining child custody arrangements, but the judge has the final say in issuing a custody and visitation order. If you are facing criminal charges, taking the following actions can help:
● Maintain your composure during court hearings;
● Comply with any instructions or orders issued by the court;
● Submit to drug or alcohol testing when ordered;
● Undergo any recommended counseling or treatment programs;
● Refrain from any further criminal activity, and cut ties with any groups or individuals who may be seen as a bad influence.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is important, as well. If your charges are dropped, or you are found not guilty of the crime, this will work in your favor. If you are convicted, completing your sentence and cooperating with any supervised visitation orders can protect your parental rights while helping you move toward getting more time with your child.
Our Norcross Child Custody and Visitation Attorneys are Here to Help You
At Zimmerman & Associates, we use our legal expertise and decades worth of experience in representing people in both family law and criminal court matters. To discuss how we can help protect your rights as a parent, contact our Norcross child custody and visitation attorneys and request a consultation today.