You are struggling with your ex to figure out child custody issues. For example, perhaps you want joint custody while your ex wants sole custody. You go out to a bar one night, have a few drinks, leave, and the next thing you know, you are being pulled over and charged with a DUI.
Can this charge affect your custody case? Yes, it can.
It starts with the co-parent
The impact of your DUI charge largely rests with your co-parent. It could be that your breakup is amicable and your ex is willing to go out of his or her way to ensure your children have equal access to the both of you. On the other hand, if your breakup is fractious, your ex could use the charge as a reason to, fairly or not, try to deny you access to your children.
Your background matters
Your background can be a huge factor when your ex is trying to wield a DUI charge against you. If it is your first charge and you do not have a history of drinking or taking risks, that is in your favor. Also in your favor are a relatively low BAC or strong indicators of innocence.
If your background is less than impeccable (or even if it is perfect), you can agree to take classes and pursue other rehabilitative measures to minimize the impact of the charge on the custody case.
Does the charge turn into a conviction?
And then there is the question of whether your charge turns into a conviction. A conviction is official and can give your ex's claims even more authority in the eyes of a judge. A conviction can also mean you will lack a driver's license for a good while and be less able to transport your children places. So, it is imperative to address a DUI charge as early as possible so it does not eventually become a conviction.