child in carseat

If your ex was caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then they may not only be facing the consequences of a DWI but also a disadvantage during child custody decisions. What’s worse is if they drove while intoxicated when your child was in the vehicle. Follow along to understand the role that a DWI charge can play in a child custody settlement agreement and how a proficient Morristown child custody lawyer of Graves Andrews, LLC, can work to have the decision land in your and your child’s favor.

What contribution does a DWI have in a child custody decision?

When the New Jersey court determines your child custody agreement, their main focus will be on your child’s best interest. This means that if your ex has any history of substance abuse and even a history of a DWI offense, it will factor into their decision-making. This is because such a history can shed a light on just how parentally unfit your ex can be, so the custody order must reflect this.

However, exceptions may apply. For example, if your ex receive a DWI over 15 years ago, and they have since acted parentally fit and in your child’s best interest, then they may still have a chance at some sort of custody or parental right over your child.

What happens if my ex received a DWI with my child in the vehicle?

The New Jersey courts will look poorly upon your ex if they were caught driving while intoxicated with your child in the vehicle. In a criminal court setting, they can be sentenced to severe criminal penalties, such as jail time, hefty fines, and license suspension, along with child endangerment charges. But in the family court setting, their chances at some sort of custody or parental rights over your child will suffer.

Additionally, if this occurred after the establishment of your child custody agreement, you can petition for a post-judgment modification. With this petition, you must prove that your ex is no longer parentally fit and that your child will be exposed to danger while under their supervision. The court will likely modify your child custody agreement in a way that restricts your ex from having any significant physical or legal custody over your child.

With all that being said, for the sake of your child’s safety, you must employ the services of a talented Morristown family law attorney at your earliest convenience. You can rest easy knowing that we likewise have your child’s best interest in mind.