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Is it possible to get full custody if my ex is charged with DUI in Miami?

This legal question related to dui & dwi attorneys in MiamiFlorida has been answered.

Location: Miami  |  Law type: dui & dwi attorneys

Going through a divorce is tough, but it gets tougher when your ex makes a dumb mistake that could put your kids in danger. Here's the scoop, my ex just got charged with a DUI in Miami, and I'm worried sick about the safety of our kids.

Can I use the DUI to get full custody?

The DUI happened last weekend, and my ex had the kids the weekend before that. Thank God the kids weren't in the car, but it got me thinking, what if they were? I can't have this kind of risk in their lives.

  • How does a DUI charge affect custody battles in Florida?
  • Can I file for full custody based on her DUI charge?
  • Do I need to prove she's a danger to the kids beyond the DUI?

What's the process for changing custody in Florida?

We already have a custody arrangement from our initial divorce agreement, but I want to change it now. I need to know how I can start this process and what evidence I need to gather.

  • How do I file for a custody modification in Miami?
  • What kind of documentation or evidence should I be collecting?
  • How long does the process usually take?

Will the court consider the DUI a one-time mistake?

My ex is pleading that it was a one-time mistake and won't happen again. But I can't take chances with my kids' lives. I need to know if the court will take this seriously or just slap her on the wrist and move on.

  • How seriously do Miami courts take a DUI when considering custody?
  • Can she just claim it was a one-time incident and get away with it?

My meeting with my lawyer is coming up, but I'm pacing holes in my carpet over here. If anyone's got experience with this kind of thing or knows about Florida custody laws, please help me out. Just want my kids to be safe. Thanks, y'all.

Commonly posted questions...

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to dui & dwi attorneys in the jurisdiction of Miami. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Impact of DUI on Custody Cases in Florida

Relevant Florida Statutes for Custody Modification

In the state of Florida, custody cases are governed by the Florida Statutes, particularly Chapter 61 which deals with dissolution of marriage, support, and time-sharing. The specific sections you may need to review or reference regarding custody and the impact of DUI charges include:

  • Florida Statute 61.13 - Regarding custody and the best interests of the child, which courts will reference when making custody determinations.
  • Florida Statute 61.13001 - Pertaining to parental relocation with a child.
  • Florida Statute 316.193 - Establishing penalties for driving under the influence, which may be used to assess the seriousness of the DUI charge in the context of custody.

For the most authoritative and up-to-date information, it's advisable to visit the official website of the Florida Legislature to access the full text of these statutes.

Seeking Full Custody Due to an Ex's DUI Charge

A DUI charge can certainly impact a custody battle in Florida, as the courts primarily consider the best interest of the child in these situations. To file for full custody, you would need to petition the court for a modification of the existing custody arrangement. This would generally involve proving a substantial change in circumstances, which the DUI may constitute, especially regarding the safety and well-being of the children. It is important to demonstrate not just the existence of the DUI charge, but also how it poses a risk to the children.

The process for modifying custody would typically start with filing a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Custody and/or Visitation in the jurisdiction where the original custody order was made. You should collect all relevant documentation such as police reports, DUI charge details, and any other evidence that shows the DUI charge is reflective of a pattern of behavior that could endanger the children.

Legal Fees for Custody Modification in Miami

Service Average Cost in Miami % Difference From National Average
Initial Consultation Fee $250 +10%
Filing Fee for Modification $175 +5%
Attorney Fees (per hour) $350 +20%
Full Custody Case (uncontested) $4,500 +15%
Full Custody Case (contested) $12,000 - $18,000 +25%

In Miami, the cost for legal services can be higher than the national average, reflective of the city's higher living costs. These rates are estimates and can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case, the lawyer's experience, and the specifics of the situation. A contested custody case will be significantly more expensive due to the amount of time and resources required to litigate the matter.

Complexity of Custody Cases Involving DUI Charges

Custody cases are inherently complex due to the emotional nature of the proceedings and the detailed analysis required to determine the best interests of the child. A DUI charge adds to this complexity as it introduces serious concerns about a parent's judgment and ability to ensure a child's safety.

Case Study 1: A First-time DUI Offense

A first-time DUI may be argued as a lapse in judgment. In such cases, courts may not view it as a sufficient reason to modify custody unless there's additional evidence of risk to the child.

Case Study 2: Repeat DUI Offenses

Multiple DUIs can establish a pattern of irresponsible behavior, potentially leading to a more favorable outcome for the party seeking custody modification.

Case Study 3: DUI with Aggravating Factors

If the DUI incident involved aggravating factors, such as an accident or the presence of a child in the vehicle, this could significantly sway the court's opinion on custody arrangements.

In Miami, these cases would be addressed in the Family Division of the Miami-Dade County Court system. A parent seeking to modify custody should present a compelling case that aligns with Florida's legal standards and demonstrates that a change in custody would materially benefit the child's welfare.

Key Questions for the User

  • Have there been any previous incidents that would suggest a pattern of reckless or irresponsible behavior by your ex? This question is crucial to establish whether the DUI is an isolated incident or part of a larger pattern of conduct that could endanger the children.

  • Do you have any documented evidence, besides the DUI, that indicates your ex is unfit to have custody? It's important to collect comprehensive evidence to support your case, not solely relying on the DUI charge.

  • How has your ex's behavior impacted the children in the past? The court will consider the past impact of the parent's behavior on the children when determining custody arrangements.

Common Questions in DUI-Related Custody Disputes

Q1: How much weight does a DUI charge carry in a custody case?

A: It can carry significant weight, especially if it suggests a risk to the child's safety or a pattern of irresponsible behavior.

Q2: Can a single DUI incident be enough to change custody?

A: It can be enough if it can be shown that the DUI incident reflects a serious risk to the child's welfare or if it's part of a larger pattern of unsafe behavior.

Q3: Will the court consider a DUI that happened several years ago?

A: The court might consider it, particularly if there are recent concerns or if the past behavior has ongoing implications for the child's safety.

Q4: What if the DUI resulted in criminal charges?

A: Criminal charges can elevate the seriousness of the DUI incident in the eyes of the court and might more strongly influence custody decisions.

It's imperative to consult with a family law attorney in Miami who can provide tailored advice and representation. They will guide you through the complexities of the Florida family court system and help develop a strategy to present your case effectively.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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Legal question "Is it possible to get full custody if my ex is charged with DUI in Miami?" has been changed 7 months 2 weeks ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of Miami & area of law: dui & dwi attorneys.
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A professional and serious wide image reflecting the legal issues of a DUI affecting custody battles. The first image shows a concerned parent holding legal documents, standing outside a courthouse in Miami, with palm trees in the background. The person is of Hispanic descent, wearing business attire, and looking determined. The second image depicts a courtroom in Florida with a judge, of Black descent, considering a DUI case during a custody hearing. There's a Florida state flag, and the room is filled wit
A professional and serious wide image reflecting the legal issues of a DUI affecting custody battles. The first image shows a concerned parent holding legal documents, standing outside a courthouse in Miami, with palm trees in the background. The person is of Hispanic descent, wearing business attire, and looking determined. The second image depicts a courtroom in Florida with a judge, of Black descent, considering a DUI case during a custody hearing. There's a Florida state flag, and the room is filled wit...

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