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Crimes Impacting Family Law Cases

Criminal activity can impact family court proceedings in many ways. For example, criminal activity may impact the financial and emotional ability to care for children, which in turn impacts parenting time. Criminal convictions can have substantial ramifications on the day to day life of families and children. For example, criminal convictions often negatively impact employment and employability and the consequent financial ability to care for a child. Criminal conviction can impact the ability to obtain and maintain professional licenses as well. There are other ways in which a conviction can impact a family as well. Conviction can negatively impact the ability to adopt a child. Even driving privileges can be impacted, which impacts the ability to travel to work and for parenting time.

Common types of crimes that may impact family court proceedings are:

  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Sex crimes
  • Alcohol and drug offenses
Domestic Violence

Domestic violence often results in a civil or criminal protection order which impacts contact with the other parent and possibly children. These orders can have a substantial effect on parenting time and parenting time arrangements. Domestic violence against an adult is not automatically considered a crime against a child, though there is often a substantial impact on a child witnessing domestic violence between parents. Thus, domestic violence is a factor for courts to consider in parenting time determinations.

The government can prosecute domestic violence resulting from a report to law enforcement, and victims can seek recourse themselves through a civil process. Criminal allegations of domestic violence must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, while civil allegations must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. A criminal court is not bound by a civil court’s determination of domestic violence and vice versa, though courts often consider the existence of a protection order issued by another court in making decisions. Joint decision making will generally not be awarded in cases of domestic violence.

Child Abuse

Child abuse has a direct impact on parenting time arrangements because it impacts child safety and often the ability of the parents to communicate regarding the child. The Department of Human Services can pursue reports of child abuse either informally through its own case management system or formally through the juvenile court system.

Sexual Offenses

Sexual offenses impact parenting time due to child safety issues, prison time and the requirement to register as a sex offender. A mandatory protection order will prohibit contact with the offender’s own children. The protection order can be modified to allow parenting time if the children were not the victims and the offender makes satisfactory progress in therapy.

Driving Under the Influence

If a person is arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), two parallel actions occur; an express consent administrative action in the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles and a misdemeanor criminal case. Colorado drivers have consented to the taking of a blood, breath or urine test if arrested for DUI, therefore evidence may be readily available to establish guilt. Such an arrest implicates the issue of substance abuse for parents and consequently the safety of children.

Is it time to turn change into opportunity? At Janko Law and Mediation, LLC we know how to work with you to reach your transition goals. We are committed to pursuing settlement to preserve family relations to the maximum extent possible, however also zealously represent your interests in contested litigation if desired or necessary. We can also handle appeals if the event that the trial court errors in fact or law. Give us a call for a complimentary case assessment at 303-210-4204, or fill out our confidential online intake form.

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