Effect of Arizona DUI on Divorce and Child Custody

Going through a divorce is very stressful for everyone involved – the adults and the children. If you are going through a divorce and you are convicted of a DUI or any drug offense within twelve months before you file for child custody, it will have a significant effect on your ability to get sole or joint custody of your children and it may impact how much time you’re allotted for visitation.

When the court decides who should be responsible for the care and custody of a couple’s children, the judge will make their decision based on what is in the best interests of the children. There is a law in Arizona, Arizona Revised Statute § 25-403.04,regarding who should get custody of the children if one parent has a DUI or drug conviction in the twelve months before filing for custody.  If you have such a conviction, there is a rebuttable presumption that granting you sole or joint custody is not in your children’s best interests. The court is concerned with protecting your children and may use your conviction as a reason to also limit the amount of time you get to spend with them.

A rebuttable presumption means that the court will not grant you sole of joint custody of your children because of your DUI or drug history unless you can prove that it would be in your children’s’ best interest. You can prove this by showing that you have not had another drug conviction in the last five years or by showing that you have not failed a court-ordered random drug test in the last six months. You may present other evidence to the court to show that you should have sole or joint custody of your children.

If you have been arrested for DUI, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced Arizona DUI attorney as soon as possible to serve as your advocate. If you are arrested but not convicted of DUI, the above Arizona law will not apply to you if you have no other DUI or drug convictions. If you have been arrested for DUI, please contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit:  one tiny spark from Flickr