Will a Criminal History Affect My Divorce?

Written by Jonathan Breeden

September 1, 2017

When you are heading into a divorce, there is no stopping you from worrying about the outcome. Will you get to keep the house and your car? Will you get your portion of the savings accounts and investments? Will you get custody of your kids? North Carolina divorce law can be confusing. There are many issues you have to figure out during a divorce, and you may worry that your criminal history will negatively affect your rights, legal options, and the outcome of your divorce.

Generally, a criminal record does not have to impact your divorce. However, there are instances when specific criminal convictions such as domestic violence could affect certain aspects of the proceedings. To learn more about divorcing with a criminal history, contact a North Carolina divorce attorney at Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970.

How a Criminal History Could Affect Property Division

In North Carolina, a court divides marital property equitably. A judge looks at the entirety of the situation and splits your assets and debts between you and your spouse in the fairest way possible. In some situations, this will result in a close to 50/50 division. However, it does not have to. Various factors can influence a judge to give you or your spouse more of the assets or debts.

If you were recently convicted of a crime that included wasting your marital assets or accumulating marital debt, the judge may take this into consideration during the division of property. For instance, if there is evidence you purchased items on a credit card that were used to commit a crime, then a judge may not hold your spouse responsible for that debt. Or if there is evidence you utilized marital assets to fund the commission of an offense, then a judge may hesitate to give you the same amount of assets as your spouse.

How a Criminal History Could Impact Child Custody

While a criminal conviction could theoretically impact property division during a divorce, a more likely issue is a conviction impacting your bid for child custody or visitation. If you were convicted of a violent crime or drug offense, your spouse could use this as evidence that it is not in your child’s best interests to live with you or even spend time alone with you. If you were convicted of domestic violence against your spouse or child, or if you were convicted of a sex crime against a child, you can expect the Court to consider this in deciding custody of your child. If you were convicted of a violent crime that did not involve a family member or child, then you can still expect the Judge to consider this as well and may lead the Judge to give you less custody than you expect.

However, not every criminal conviction automatically affects your right to custody or visitation. For example, if you were convicted of a white-collar crime in the past, a judge may find this has little to no influence on your parenting and child’s best interests.

Contact A North Carolina Divorce Lawyer For Help

If you have been convicted of one or more crimes in the past, your spouse may try to use this to their advantage in divorce court. The best way to fight for your criminal history to not affect your divorce is to hire an experienced divorce attorney from Breeden Law Office.

To learn more, contact attorney Jonathan Breeden online, or call (919) 661-4970 today to schedule a consultation.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden