Divorce and driving under the influence of intoxicants are completely different topics. Therefore, you would be forgiven for thinking that one has nothing to do with the other. However, it really is true that a DUII conviction can impact every aspect of your life. You probably already know that it can affect you financially, professionally, and socially.
Still, you may find it hard to believe that it can have an impact on something as personal as a divorce. As surprising as it may seem, a conviction for intoxicated driving can affect your divorce proceedings in several ways. This probably sounds like more trouble than you’d want to deal with. That’s why you’ll want to work closely with a Portland DUI lawyer to avoid conviction.
Divorce is often complicated since spouses tend to disagree on property division, spousal support, and child custody and support. It’s possible that the court would hold your DUII conviction against you. Also, your spouse’s attorney is almost guaranteed to try to use your criminal history to secure a better outcome for their client. Let’s examine some of the ways that these two separate parts of your life could collide.
A DUI Can Cause Additional Emotional Turmoil
Divorce proceedings and criminal charges are both a lot to handle. Even if you’re just dealing with one of these issues, you’re likely to feel stressed out. Other members of your household, including children, will find either situation to be emotionally taxing. If your divorce proceedings started first, your DUI will add to your burden. However, it is not unheard of for a DUI to contribute to a divorce, especially if it’s not your first criminal charge.
It Can Lead to Increased Financial Difficulty
The legal fees associated with divorces and DUIIs can be high and the court costs can add up quickly. Many people find themselves facing financial challenges when dealing with just one of these issues. If you have to attend court, substance abuse treatment, and meetings with your attorney, you may have to take time off work. Depending on the type of work you do, you may even have lost your job when you got charged. Dealing with your divorce will be a lot harder when you have limited income because of an impaired driving charge or conviction.
Another consideration is that your spouse may not want you to use marital funds to pay for your DUI costs. There are lots of expenses associated with a DUI such as fines and the installation of an ignition interlock device. You may need to spend thousands of dollars to handle the matter, but you may not be able to use certain funds. Also, you should prepare for the possibility that your spouse will say you wasted marital funds on alcohol. This could affect the division of property during the divorce.
You May Be Less Likely to Get Physical Custody of Your Children
If you are convicted of a DUI, the family court may see you as someone who takes unnecessary risks and makes bad decisions. It may also appear that you prefer to go out and get drunk instead of taking care of your family. Your spouse may even argue that you can’t be trusted to properly supervise your kids. Even if you’re not ultimately convicted of driving under the influence, the mere allegation could affect the discussion surrounding custody arrangements.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get custody. Judges take these crimes seriously. However, if it’s your first time being accused or convicted of such an offense, you may still be able to retain custody of your children. If you have multiple convictions, the situation may be different. That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced Portland DUI lawyer to defend you against the criminal charges.
Contact the Trilogy Law Group Today to Discuss Your DUI Case
DUI charges are far-reaching and they should never be taken lightly. They can have life-changing effects on your life and one affected area could be your divorce. At the earliest possible opportunity, you should contact one of the knowledgeable Portland DUI attorneys at the Trilogy Law Group. We will gather the facts surrounding your case and do everything we can to defend you. If you’re cleared of the DUI charges, you will have one less thing negatively affecting your divorce. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.