If I Get Arrested Or Violate An Order Of Protection, How Does That Affect My Custody Case Or Divorce In New York?

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Peter L. Cedeno - Family Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Peter L. Cedeno

Located in New York, NYCedeno Law Group, PLLC

New York, NY
Phone: 212-235-1382
Fax: 646-760-5544

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If you are going through a divorce or child custody case, anything you do may factor into the judge’s final decision on the outcome. When one of the parties commit a crime, he or she may be surprised to find that criminal conviction may have consequences in family court. 

How a violation or arrest affects your case largely depends on the exact charges and the circumstances of your family case. If you are fighting for custody of your child and are charged with a drug crime, for example, the judge may see it fit to limit your custody rights to protect the child.  A criminal conviction can further complicate your divorce or custody case.

Any criminal act could impact your case depending on the situation. The outcome is largely dependent on whether the family court judge believes that arrest or violation impacts your relationship, your family or your ability to parent. 

Did You Violate An Order Of Protection? 

An order of protection is often farther reaching than many people think. Simply emailing or texting the protected party, or even reaching out on social media, can constitute a violation. In these instances, there is also tangible evidence that you communicated with the protected party. 

If your spouse or another family member has an order of protection against you, and you are found to have violated that order, then you could be facing criminal consequences. You could be sent to jail, which could have a serious impact on your family case. But even if you are not sent to jail and just have to pay a fine, this could be viewed negatively in the eyes of a family court judge. 

How this will hurt your divorce or child custody case depends on the details of the situation. If you show up at the protected party’s home in front of your child and start a conflict, for example, this may be seen as a danger to the child. As the court is deciding on a custody plan that protects your child’s best interests, your custody may be limited as a result. 

Even if your actions have no direct effect on your child’s well-being, the simple fact that you overstepped your boundaries and violated the law might make the judge question your ability to parent with your child’s best interests at heart. If you don’t have children, an order of protection can still impact the rest of your case as well. Judges may award spousal support or a larger share of the marital estate to your former spouse as a result. 

Were You Convicted Of Another Crime? 

Whether you violated an order of protection or are convicted of any other criminal charge, the effect is largely the same. If your actions are believed to put your child at risk, it could limit your ability to see your child in the future. Likewise, some criminal actions could impact other areas of your case, such as asset division and child/spousal support. 

Quality legal representation is needed which is why you should consider hiring a skilled and experienced criminal defense and family law attorney.  If you are arrested while you are undergoing a family dispute, you will often need two attorneys – a family law lawyer and a criminal defense lawyer. Peter Cedeno’s office can diligently represent you in both courts and provide the guidance you need you obtain the best possible outcome. 

When you are going through a divorce, child custody dispute or any other legal family conflict, there is a magnifying glass on every aspect of your life. Make one mistake, and it could have a lasting impact on your family and your future. 

Contact Peter L. Cedeno for a confidential consultation.  He will provide the advice and counsel you need to make the best decisions in your criminal and family law matters.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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