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My Ex Got a DUI. Can I Take Custody?

Child Custody and DUI

Initially, it should be noted that one parent getting a DUI charge, standing alone, may not be a basis for a change in child custody or parenting time, or entry of emergency orders. Though any parent being charged with a DUI may be cause for concern, the key issue is how, if at all, it impacts their ability to parent.

When the other parent of your child is charged with driving under the influence (DUI), it’s important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to thoroughly go through the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation.

Of course, the first, most important issue to be dealt with is making sure that your children are safe. Beyond immediate safety concerns, there may be other long term and short term legal steps you might take tied into the DUI. Given that family law judges are empowered with wide discretion to determine the best interests of a child, a DUI may be treated differently from court to court.

Emergency Child Custody Action from a DUI

Emergency action would certainly be warranted if that parent got the DUI with the child, or children, in the car. Generally, that parent is also going to be charged with child abuse.

By driving while intoxicated with children in the car, the offending parent has clearly put them in harms way in a physical danger sense. Absent some sort of full proof assurance that it won’t happen again or an agreement to stop parenting time, the filing of a motion to restrict parenting time pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129.4 is the best available remedy to ensure the children’s safety in an immediate sense.

With the filing of the motion to restrict parenting time, all visitation ceases until there is a court hearing, which must occur 14 days from the date the motion is filed. At the hearing, the court will need to determine the severity of the problem and whether the kids are in “imminent danger” such that a restriction of time will need to continue.

If you are facing a parenting time issue or other family law matter, speak with one the attorneys at Plog & Stein P.C. today: (303) 781-0322

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Erik Philips
Erik Philips
Stephen Plog is the attorney I used to draft my post nuptial agreement and assisted me in preparation of filing divorce paperwork. Throughout both processes, he provided me with reassurance and support. Very fair in pricing and went above and beyond in my opinion. Thank you Plog and Stein.
Nova Utzinger
Nova Utzinger
My issue was paperwork and advice. I was pressed for time and even between the holidays, I was able to get in and talk to Stephen Plog that same day. He made it happen. After explaining what I needed, he was able to quickly get me the necessary documents and I was able to move forward immediately. Very friendly, honest, informative, trustworthy. As is the case for most of us, I hope I never need a family law attorney again. If I do, this is where I’m coming.
Rob Forbes
Rob Forbes
Stephen and his firm came highly recommended. He had looked over my divorce and gave me an honest recommendation and advice. He explained things simply enough for me to fully understand everything. something that was much needed when going through a stressful divorce. I would recommend him to anyone needing help. You won’t be disappointed.
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Loopy Llama

When Can Parenting Time be Modified Due to a DUI

If there have been multiple DUI’s, particularly when those DUI’s have caused a disruption to parenting time, there may be a basis for more long term modifications of parenting time. This might be justified due to missed time and the impact the parent’s behavior has on the children.

Perhaps that parent has lost his or her license and no longer has the ability to drive the children during his or her allotted times. Moreover, the DUI may be a symptom of a deeper seeded alcohol abuse problem. There are some judges who may not view a single DUI, or even two, as a big deal.

In most cases, at a minimum, the court will likely enter orders prohibiting the use of alcohol and requiring testing for a period of time. Testing will generally entail either breathalyzer testing or ETG urinalysis. The latter can detect alcohol use roughly 80 hours in the past.

Though visitation may not initially be changed due to the DUI, failing to comply with any testing requirements may lead to a cessation of parenting time.

Speak With an Attorney Today

Each case is different and the facts surrounding the DUI do matter. If you are in a situation in which DUI has become an issue, contact the child custody attorneys as Plog & Stein, P.C. to get a better understanding of your rights and options. Our attorneys understand that the safety of your children is of the utmost importance to you. We also understand the importance of making the right legal decisions in order to protect them, call us at (303) 781-0322.

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Stephen Plog, co-founder of Plog & Stein, P.C. in 1999, is a dedicated family law attorney with almost two decades of expertise in Denver. Focused exclusively on family law since 2001, he excels in both intricate legal writing and courtroom litigation, having navigated cases in all Denver metropolitan area District Courts. Steve’s comprehensive background, including a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law, underscores his commitment to providing insightful and personalized representation in family law matters.