Ask A Lawyer: Does Criminal Conduct Prevent Custody?


My ex girlfriend has a case of burglary of habitat.  The police even took pictures of her coming towards me, assaulting me, and physically damaging me.  Later, we tried to work things out, and she even moved back in.  It wasn’t long before she called the police on me for taking her car.  When they arrived, they took her to jail for violating a court order to not return to my house, and for violation of a protective order.

We have a 6 month old boy. I have a mortgage to pay, and I have been a retail management for six years now.  Currently, she has not been convicted, but does this history help me with a custody case?



Depending upon the criteria under the applicable laws of your jurisdiction and the perspectives of the judge assigned to your case, her criminal conduct may cause enough concern as to prevent her from being awarded custody or may only create doubt as to her credibility.  Given the young age of your child, the court will have to carefully consider the parenting skills of both you and the mother, as well as your comparative financial and home stabilities, in addition to her criminal conduct and possible incarceration. Without a complete review of all the relevant factors in your case by a qualified domestic relations attorney, it is not possible to predict how her conduct and possible conviction may affect your ability to obtain custody.



Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues. 

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