Can I Lose Child Custody for Dating a Felon?

by San Francisco Divorce Attorney

The role dating a felon plays in child custody

Who a parent dates can potentially influence their child custody rights. Here’s everything you need to know about whether or not you can lose child custody for dating a felon.

Oftentimes, parents will use the dating lives of the other parent against them in court. Although dating a felon will not automatically strip a parent of child custody, it can complicate things.

What does it mean to have parental rights terminated?

To terminate parental rights means to end the legal relationship between a parent and a child. If both parents have had their parental rights terminated, the child becomes legally available for adoption. The goal for the child then becomes finding a stable, permanent home. There is no one factor that leads to parental rights being terminated. However certain cases, such as a parent dating an abusive individual, have the potential to terminate parental rights.

What if a parent is dating an individual with a history of felony charges?

Dating an individual with a history of felony charges can affect child custody. That being said, the timing and reason behind the charge affect the risk that child custody could be taken away.

An example of a less-risky situation would be a parent dating an individual that struggled with substance abuse in the past and had charges related to their usage of drugs. If the individual has been practicing sobriety for a long period of time and faces no more charges since sobriety, it would be challenging to make any claims about the child being in danger. Thus,  depending on the crime, a clean present can outweigh a history of felony charges when it comes to child custody arrangements.

What if a parent is dating an individual with recent felony charges?

Dating an individual with recent or open felony charges can affect child custody. Additionally, dating an individual charged with felonies – particularly dealing with violent offenses or offenses towards children – makes it highly probable that the parent dating the felon might lose custody of their child.

If the child’s other parent presents information to the court demonstrating any of these factors – or any factors that make it seem as though the child could potentially be in danger – the likelihood of keeping child custody rights goes down. Thus, it is best that both parents do not date individuals that could potentially cause harm to the child, as this could endanger their custody arrangements.

How to check if someone has felony charges?

The internet provides ways to conduct background searches on different individuals. Thus, when dating a new person, it can be very useful to check if she or he has a criminal record online. Conveniently, this sort of search does not require difficult-to-get information, such as a social security number.

These sorts of sites make it easy to find information regarding both current and past criminal histories. Checking whether or not a new partner has faced felony charges acts as a strong preventative measure in ensuring one’s child is safe.

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If you or a loved one is seeking to win back child custody rights in California, contact our San Francisco Divorce Attorney. We’ll get you in touch with the best lawyer for your unique legal matter. Get your free consultation with one of our California Child Custody Attorneys today!