If you get arrested and convicted of a crime, and your spouse files for divorce as a result, you may start wondering how the two cases are going to impact one another. Is that conviction going to play a role in the divorce, or are the two things completely separate issues?

Typically, it depends on the details. Not all convictions are equal in family law court. Many things will not matter. Other things could play a massive role. The type of crime is the key.

For instance, imagine that you’re trying to get custody of your children. However, you were convicted on felony drug and weapons charges. Your spouse may say that it’s not safe for the children to live with you if you’re involved in these activities or are around other people who are. This could lead to a situation where you do not get physical custody, and have to settle for supervised visitation.

Or, maybe the allegations are for domestic violence. If your spouse indicates that you ever abused them or the children, clearly that is going to make it far more difficult to get custody. You may find that you get cut out of the children’s lives forever.

That said, if you were arrested for something minor, such as marijuana possession or failing to show up for a court date, although you could still face legal ramifications, that may not be grounds to keep you from your children after a divorce.

As you can see, the whole situation can get quite complicated. Be sure you know where you stand and especially what legal defense options you have when facing those criminal charges.