Reeder & Brown, P.C.


Will My Criminal Conviction Affect My Child Custody Case?

 Posted on July 13, 2023 in Family Law

Plainfield Family LawyerIf you are a parent involved in a child custody dispute, you may have worries over whether your criminal conviction could have an impact on the results of your custody case. It is reasonable to fear that if you have a conviction, the judge may see you as less of a fit parent. However, for the vast majority of parents with a criminal record, this is not necessarily true. The court will consider the nature of your criminal conviction in determining whether it should have any bearing on your child custody case. A great number of people with a history of criminal convictions are excellent parents, and Illinois family law courts are well aware of this. However, certain convictions relating to violence as well as sex crimes can have an impact on what type of custody arrangement the court will believe is best for the child. It is best to consult an attorney if you have a criminal conviction that may affect how the court views your abilities as a parent

What Criminal Convictions Can Impact My Child Custody Dispute?

Most parents with minor criminal records have very little to fear. For example, if you were caught with marijuana in the years before it became legal for recreational use, you likely have little to fear. The same is true for parents with very old criminal records of a largely unconcerning nature. If you have a simple assault charge stemming from a bar fight that happened when you were 19 years old and you are now 35 and have stayed out of trouble, this is not likely to have much of an impact. However, your concern may be justified if your record involves: 

  • Sex crimes - Sex offenders are explicitly mentioned in Illinois’s codified factors that judges use to decide custody cases. If you are a convicted sex offender - or you live with someone who is - the court will take this into consideration. You may be less likely to receive unsupervised visitation

  • Child abuse - Any evidence that a parent has been violent towards a child or has threatened violence toward the child, whether or not a criminal conviction came out of it, will be taken into consideration

The court’s goal is to protect the child involved, not to keep punishing parents for a prior mistake. However, offenses of a certain nature may cause the court to believe that the child may not be safe with you

Contact a Will County Child Custody Attorney

Reeder & Brown, P.C. is committed to helping parents stay connected with their children. Our experienced Plainfield child custody attorneys will do all we can to help you maintain a relationship with your child. For a free consultation, please contact us at 815-885-5980


Share this post:
Back to Top