We have seen this situation more often than you might expect: One spouse gets in trouble with the law, and the other decides the partnership is no longer viable. This is more likely if things were not perfect before the arrest. Along with money trouble and disagreements over raising children, criminal charges often put unsustainable stress on a marriage.

An arrest could do more than put strain on your marriage. It could also affect your divorce case negatively. In this type of situation, you would be handling a legal conflict on two fronts: civil and criminal. Strategy is essential to secure your best possible outcome.

Think about your best future

In order to protect your rights and interests, you probably have to look at the medium to long term. Some things might have unintended consequences: Your spouse might be able to use your criminal convictions as evidence that your children might not benefit from close contact with you, for example.

Organizing all of the different actions and consequences is a complex undertaking. However, once you establish specific, clear goals for your family’s future, your path forward should become much more obvious.

Follow through on your vision

Once you know what you want to happen, then you have the power to pursue it. For example, maybe a rehabilitation program for DUI did not seem like a good option to you before. However, in the context of your divorce, alternatives such as this might be better for your future with your family.

In these types of complex, challenging situations, details matter. However, they only matter because paying attention to detail is the path to securing your best possible outcome. It might not be perfect, but — if you truly follow your vision — you should be able to face your future without regrets.