How Can a DUI Affect a Divorce

Divorce Attorney

If you are going through a divorce, you are probably filled with stress and worry. The last thing you would need is something taking up more of your energy, time, or emotions. That is exactly what would happen if you were to get charged with a DUI, driving under the influence, while going through your divorce. A DUI charge can affect your divorce case in the following ways:

  • Extra Stress: Having a DUI charge will cause a lot of extra emotional stress for you, your spouse, and your children. This stress could also cause a strain and other negative effects on the relationships with other family members or friends. Even in the event where your divorce had been mutually agreed upon and for the most part smooth, having a DUI charge will likely change that stress-free environment. Your soon-to-be ex-spouse will likely be angry, disappointed, or frustrated, especially if drinking or drug use affected your marriage. Divorces are usually very unpleasant by themselves, so adding a DUI charge would make any hostility between you and your spouse amplified.
  • Extra Financial Stress: Another point to consider is how expensive a DUI case can be, especially if you?re already involved in a divorce case, which is expensive all by itself. When facing a DUI charge, you will have to hire a DUI attorney, pay for court fees, or any damages and penalties incurred. These expenses can add up and cause extra financial stress. Both divorce lawyers and legal costs are very expensive, and both of which you will be responsible for during a divorce proceeding. When dividing finances between you and your ex-spouse, having to pay for a DUI would come from your share and leave you with less than you otherwise would have.
  • Child Custody: One of the largest impacts that receiving a DUI will have on your divorce proceedings is how it can affect the custody of your children. Usually, the courts do not favor parents who have a drinking problem, especially if the children are too young to take care of themselves. It is not uncommon for the spouse without a DUI charge to receive favorable custody of the children. When it comes to the decision of child custody, the well-being and safety of the child is the utmost concern. A common penalty of a DUI charge is loss of your driver?s license, so that in of itself would cut down on the time you would be able to travel to see your children.
  • More Complicated Divorce Case: Undergoing a DUI case in addition to a divorce will cause your divorce to become more complicated. There are additional financial responsibilities you will have to take care of, but also you and your spouse will have to decide if your marital funds will be used to take care of the any legal expenses caused by the DUI. Even if the divorce was amicable at the beginning, the complex emotions and financial burdens that become associated with a DUI can change that. If your DUI charge results in jail time or probation, there could be a delay with the divorce proceedings overall.

If you?ve been charged with a DUI, it?s important to contact a qualified DUI attorney, like a DUI lawyer Towson, MD trusts, as well as discuss the charge?s ramifications on any ongoing civil proceedings you may be involved in with the attorney on your case.



Thank to our friends and contributors from Greenberg Law Offices of their insight into DUI charges.

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*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.

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