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Does a Criminal Record Affect Child Custody?

Rundberg Law, LLC March 25, 2022

Handcuffs laying on top of fingerprint chartDivorce is a common reality for many Kansas and Missouri families. The emotional and significant life change of divorce brings up many questions about parenting time and child custody, including questions about criminal records.

Unfortunately, it is often difficult to find clear answers. There are sources of misinformation everywhere, from next-door neighbors to websites that promise they can solve your dilemma. Ultimately, misleading information can lead to costly mistakes.

Allow an experienced local family law attorney to guide you through the divorce process. I have been handling divorce matters for more than two decades and I will strive to protect your rights. My firm, Rundberg Law, LLC, is proud to serve clients in Overland Park, throughout Johnson County, and in nearby counties in both Kansas and Missouri.

Factors Considered in Determining Custody in Kansas

A judge will consider many different factors when awarding child custody and setting parenting time in Kansas. The most important factor is the child’s best interests. To determine what would be in the child’s best interests, judges in Kansas looks at factors such as:

  • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community

  • The parent’s cooperation in maintaining the bond with the other parent

  • The child’s wishes

  • The parents’ wishes

If the child is a teenager, the judge may be more likely to consider their wishes in determining the child custody arrangement. The judge will also consider other factors when determining custody; however, the above factors are the ones that are most commonly taken into consideration.

Factors Considered in Determining Custody in Missouri

Judges in Missouri will also look at factors that relate to the child’s best interests when determining custody and parenting time. Additionally, judges in Missouri will consider whether either parent plans to move to a new home soon and how this move would affect the child’s best interests. Mental health, physical health, and a history of domestic violence or emotional abuse will affect the judge’s decision in both Kansas and Missouri.

The Impact of a Criminal Record

A criminal record can impact the judge’s child custody order. The judge will look at the crime committed and ask for answers to key questions: Was it violent? When did the crime happen? Who was the victim? What type of sentence did the parent receive?

The answers to these questions play an important role in the judge’s decision. Additionally, the judge will look to see if the parent has more than one crime on their criminal record. The number of crimes, and how serious they were, will impact the judge’s decisions regarding child custody and parenting time.

How Domestic Violence Affects Custody

Violent crimes are extremely serious and will impact the judge’s decisions about child custody. Domestic violence charges will most likely lead the judge to believe that this person may not have the capacity to be an effective parent.

If a parent has multiple domestic violence charges on their record, that will impact the judge’s decision. Similarly, if the charges are recent, then that means the judge will be less likely to look favorably on that parent when setting the child custody arrangement and parenting time.

Working With an Experienced Family Law Attorney

When one parent has a criminal record, that will affect the child custody process. To make sure that your child’s best interests are protected, don’t get your answers from just any source. I have over 20 years of legal experience and I am passionate about helping families in Kansas and Missouri. At Rundberg Law, LLC, I serve families in Overland Park, throughout Johnson County, and in nearby Kansas and Missouri counties. Contact me today to schedule a one-on-one consultation.