William Marcus Wilkerson
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Photo of attorney William Marcus Wilkerson
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Obtaining parental rights with a criminal record

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

A Texas judge must consider several factors when deciding if a parent should have custody or visitation rights to a child. One of these factors is the presence of a criminal record. While it won’t necessarily disqualify you from having a relationship with your kids, it could make it harder to have the type of access you want.

Context matters

If you were convicted of a single criminal charge several years ago, a judge may put more weight behind the fact that you haven’t gotten in trouble again. You may also receive a favorable ruling if you can reasonably claim that you were charged with a crime stemming from an attempt to defend yourself or your family from greater harm. Finally, if you can show that you haven’t exposed your child to violent or other unsavory behavior, you may be allowed to have full custody or visitation rights.

Take steps to better yourself

You may also improve your chances of obtaining child custody or visitation rights by taking steps to overcome previous issues. For instance, if you were convicted of a felony DUI, you should strongly consider enrolling in an alcohol rehabilitation program. If you were charged with felony battery, taking anger management classes can be a way to show that you recognize the seriousness of your actions and want to avoid future mishaps.

Ultimately, the child’s best interests will determine whether you obtain custody or visitation rights to that child. Therefore, even if you have been charged with or convicted of a crime, it doesn’t mean you can’t be there for your kid. It also means that your partner may obtain similar rights after a court case, even if you object to such a decision.