Child Custody and Jail Time


Child custody is rarely a simple ordeal, sometimes requiring lengthy court battles before any form of custody can be issued. The complexity can go beyond that though when certain circumstances arise. For example, what happens when the custodial parent gets incarcerated? The child clearly can’t join the parent in prison, and someone has to watch over the child, so it might be possible to pass onto the other parent or a family member. Depending on the situation, they might be able to take over custody of the child. The factors that decide rather or not this is possible vary slightly, as you will see below.

Of course, incarceration isn’t the only reason someone can try and take custody from a parent. If they feel the child is not being properly taken care of, or that the other parent is unfit, they can attempt to fight to take custody away from them. Incarceration is simply one of the reasons you might be able to get take custody of a child. Just because a parent is incarcerated, though, does not guarantee a victory for you. A lot of the ruling deal with time served, and of course, it deals with what is best for the child. You also have to remember that you might not be the only one fighting for custody. There might be other family members who try and take custody of the child while the parent is behind bars. So be ready for a possibly lengthy legal battle if you decide to try and take custody.

Like we said, one of the major parts of this will be the time served. If the custodial parent is going to be incarcerated for only one or two months, chances are they will not lose custody of the child. If they are to go incarcerated for a year or more, there is a better chance that custody will be given to someone else, due to their inability to be there to tend to the child’s needs. If they are going for an excessive amount of time, or have a life sentence, naturally they won’t be allowed to maintain custody of their child.

There is also the reason they were incarcerated as well. If they are incarcerated for a minor crime, they have a better chance of maintaining custody, whereas if they are arrested for a violent crime, or a crime involving substance abuse, it could be seen as they are suitable to maintain custody of their child. No one wants a child to live in a household that is exposed to violence, drug abuse, or alcoholism, which sets the ground to take custody from the parent. If the child is exposed to this type of environment without the parent being incarcerated, it can still be grounds to fight to take custody away from them.

As we mentioned before, there might be other family members that will try and take custody of the child if the custodial parent is incarcerated, so make sure you are a shining example of a parent or guardian before taking this case to the courtroom. Show that you have the assets, determination, and compassion to be a proper guardian to the child now that the custodial parent is behind bars. It also helps if you have some sort of civil relationship with the incarcerated parent. It might be hard to do if you are the child’s parent after going through a divorce, but it can make things easier on both you and the child or children.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t tackle it on your own. Contact today and let Lauren Koleilat represent your case. She has years of experience in family law, and an impressive track record to go with it. If you are ready to fight for your child, call us today at (386) 253-4720.