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What happens when two areas of the law collide?

Almost any legal situation can be complex — but what happens when two different areas of the law end up overlapping?

Can that happen? Absolutely. When it does, it pays to understand how to navigate these complicated legal waters.

What sort of situations can lead to overlapping legal concerns?

Every case is unique, but there are a few situations that tend to cross into more than one legal area of concern quite regularly. Consider the following examples:

1. You’re charged with domestic violence and your spouse files for divorce.

It’s unwise to make any decisions about your domestic violence case in criminal court without taking into account the way a conviction (whether by a plea deal or via trial) could affect the division of your marital property. 

Georgia is an equitable distribution state, and your spouse could convince a sympathetic family court judge that your actions put them at a financial disadvantage. That could entitle them to the lion’s share of your marital assets in the name of “fairness.”

2. You’re facing drug possession charges and fighting a custody case.

What’s one of the fastest ways to lose a custody battle with your ex-spouse? An arrest for drug possession could easily play into your co-parent’s hands. 

If the family court judge has the perception that you’re an addict, you may find yourself with — at best — supervised visitation with your children. A recent conviction on your record could be devastating to your goals as a parent.

When you find yourself in a situation where you need to make appearances in more than one court for connected reasons, take definitive actions to protect your legal interests. Make sure that you fully understand how the outcome of a criminal case could affect all your other rights.