If you are going through a divorce and you have a criminal past, you may be wondering if and how your criminal past will affect your divorce. The reality is that, in many cases, criminal histories don't impact divorce proceedings or outcomes. However, it's also possible for your criminal past to torpedo your divorce. Here are three factors that may determine whether your past brushes with the law will affect your divorce:
The Nature of Your Crimes
Some criminal convictions may have no effect on your divorce while others may seriously complicate certain aspects of your divorce. For example, you will find it difficult to get custody of the kids if you had been convicted of family abuse (either against your kids or your spouse). The same is true if you have a history of drug abuse. In both cases, the onus is on you to prove to the court that you have turned over a new leaf and can offer a safe home for the kids.
How Long Ago You Were Convicted
Recent criminal convictions may affect your divorce more than convictions in the distant past. This is because if you only have convictions in the distant past, you can successfully argue that you are a different person now. However, it will be difficult to use the same argument for a recent conviction. For example, the judge is more likely to see you as a violent person if you were convicted of assault in the previous years than if the conviction occurred during your teenage years.
Effect of the Crime on Your Marital Assets
If you did anything that compromised your marital assets, it would come back to haunt you during your divorce. Asset division is meant to be equitable, so those who have (willfully) wasted assets may not receive equal divisions of assets as their spouses. Crime can affect your marital assets in several ways. For example, if you are convicted of assault, the victim can sue you for damages and (if you don't have insurance) your family funds will have to pay for the damages. Another example is if you were convicted of tax fraud and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) came after your marital funds to get their dues.
If you do have a criminal past, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced divorce lawyer and be utterly honest with them; the lawyer will minimize the effect of your crimes on the divorce. Talk to a lawyer like Moore Robert G Attorney at Law for more information.