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Criminal Charges Can Impact Family Law Orders

A criminal charge and conviction carries more than jail time and fines – it can impact child custody orders. Under Pennsylvania law, the courts are to consider criminal convictions when awarding custody and/or supervised visitation time.

At the Law Offices of Maribeth Blessing, LLC, located in Rockledge, Pennsylvania, we understand that one mistake shouldn’t limit your time as a parent. But, we also know that the most important thing is the safety of children. If the other parent committed a serious crime that puts your children in danger, we will help you modify your custody order to keep your children safe.

Criminal Charges That Interfere With Custody

The charges the court evaluates include:

  • Homicide
  • Aggravated assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • Unlawful restraint and false imprisonment
  • Sexual crimes
  • Child endangerment
  • Contempt for violating court orders
  • Drunk driving and drugged driving
  • Drug crimes

In some cases, the conviction of a crime – and the circumstances surrounding the crime – will preclude custody, meaning the parent will be awarded no time with his/her children or only limited supervised visitation time. If the crime and facts do not prevent the parent from having custody time with his/her children, the court will evaluate the situation to determine whether the parent poses a threat to the children.

As part of this determination, the court may order a mental health evaluation, and may require the parent to undergo mental health counseling – and pay for those costs of that treatment. If the court finds the parent is not a threat to the children, it will continue its evaluation to determine the custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the children.

A past criminal conviction can also interfere with your ability to adopt.

Contact Us For Help

If you have been convicted of a crime, you need the help of a criminal defense lawyer and a family law attorney. If the other parent was convicted of a crime, you need legal help as well to ensure your children are protected. Contact the Law Offices of Maribeth Blessing, LLC, today. Call 215-392-0849 or 866-603-8691.