When family law and criminal law intersect

Where Family Law and Criminal Law Intersect

There are many ways in which family law and criminal law intersect. In fact, one can be in a family law case and criminal case at the same time. This is quite common. Maybe the most common example is where a party is arrested for assault family violence and the victim decides to file for a protective order—a family law remedy—against the alleged assailant to protect themselves and their children.

While common, this is far from the only situation where family law and criminal law cases intersect. It could also happen when a party is arrested for DUI (DWI) with a minor, or for abuse of a child or sexual assault of a child, or a drug crime. Any number of criminal arrests could lead the other, non-arrested parent, to file any number of family lawsuits, including: a suit affecting the parent child relationship, a suit to modify the parent-child relationship, a divorce, or even a termination of parental rights suit. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (sometimes referred to as simply CPS) often brings termination suits against parents after they are arrested and believed to present a danger to their children.

While it is often the non-arrested parent that instigates the family law case, this is not always true. I’ve represented many arrested parents who instigate the family law case. These clients fall into three general categories:

  • The first are those that simply want a fair shake. They want to see their children and don’t take kindly to the other parent limiting access to their children because of an arrest…which is certainly not a finding of guilt.
  • The second category are those that are arrested wrongfully. They want a family law attorney that can help unearth the evidence and prove that they are indeed wrongfully accused.
  • The third category are those parents that, even if in the wrong, want to show that their misdeeds don’t poison their ability as a parent. We all know people, after all, that have some criminal history, but are great parents, caregivers, husbands, wives, and friends.

Given that I practice both criminal law and family law, I’m uniquely positioned to represent clients that simultaneously have both types of cases. Contact TLC Law for help with your case.

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