Will a DWI Be Factored into a Child Custody Decision?

A child is buckling the seatbelt on a booster seat in a car, with an adult's hand assisting, emphasizing the importance of car safety for children and DWI child custody awareness.

If your ex has a DWI offense on their criminal record, you may be wary to share custody of your child with them. Read on to discover how a DWI charge will be factored into a child custody settlement agreement and how a seasoned Nassau County child custody lawyer of Barrows Levy PLLC can help fight to keep your child in safe hands.

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

Generally speaking, the Nassau County court will make a child custody decision that is in the best interest of the child. With this, there are many relevant factors that they will consider, one of which is if a parent has a history of substance abuse. What’s worse is if the parent has a criminal record for a DWI offense. In the court’s eyes, this would echo that a parent is incapable of acting in the child’s best interest or they are otherwise parentally unfit, and they will draw up a settlement agreement that reflects this.

However, this is not always a clear-cut determination. Meaning, the circumstances surrounding the DWI are important to make the proper decision. For example, if your ex receive a DWI over 15 years ago, and since then they have consistently acted in your child’s best interest, then they may still have a chance at some sort of custody or otherwise parental rights. On the other hand, if your ex is a repeat DWI offender, or if they drove while intoxicated with your child in the vehicle, then their chance at custody is lessened.

Will receiving a DWI with a child in the vehicle be harshly punished?

As insinuated above, being caught driving while intoxicated is a serious criminal offense that comes with severe penalties. But if there is a child in the vehicle at the time of the offense, then child endangerment charges will also apply.

If your ex was found guilty of doing this after your child custody agreement has been settled, you can petition for a post-judgment modification. The chances are that the Nassau County court will modify your child custody agreement so that your ex’s say in raising your child becomes significantly limited.

Regardless of what the situation may be, you should do everything in your power to keep your child safe. This is why we recommend that you retain the services of a competent Nassau County family law attorney today. We will work toward an outcome that lands in the best interest of you and your child. Give us a call today.


If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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