My Ex Got a DUI With My Child in the Car. Can I Take Custody?

A grandfather and grandchild holding hands while taking a walk together, symbolizing intergenerational connection and care, evokes thoughts about enduring family bonds similar to the support one might seek from a divorce lawyer

When a divorced parent gets a DUI, the other parent will often seek custody of the child, as they believe this is the best way to keep the child safe. Read on and reach out to an experienced Nassau County child custody lawyer from Barrows Levy PLLC today to learn more about these cases, how a DUI can impact custody, and how our legal team can assist you.

Will a court consider a DUI when determining a child custody agreement?

Courts consider several factors when deciding on a child custody agreement, though the most important factor is a child’s best interests. If a court determines that one parent is incapable of acting in their child’s best interests, or that it would be in a child’s best interests for one spouse to have primary or sole custody of a child, the court will create a custody agreement that reflects this. That being said, when it comes to a DUI impacting a child custody agreement, the circumstances surrounding the DUI are important. For example, if a parent seeking custody received a DUI 15 years ago, it most likely won’t have a significant impact on the custody agreement, especially if they can prove that they’ve consistently acted in their child’s best interests over the years. That said, a repeat DUI offender or someone who drove while under the influence with a child in the car should be a bit more concerned about their parental rights.

Are DUis with children in the car punished more harshly in NYS?

When someone is caught driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will face a wide array of criminal penalties. When a minor is in the vehicle, they may also face child endangerment charges. Since courts consider the best interest of the child as the most important custody factor, there is a strong chance they’ll modify a custody agreement to limit that parent’s say in raising the child. Rather obviously, driving while intoxicated is reckless, to say the least, and doing so, especially with a minor in the vehicle, calls a person’s parental fitness into question. If you are looking to keep your child safe, our firm is here to help. All you need to do is pick up the phone and give our Nassau County family law attorney a call.


Barrows Levy PLLC is a dedicated New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you require a lawyer who has notable experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are available to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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