Nationwide, over two million people are in jail or prison at any given time. That figure might be slightly inflated because it includes people who are in the process of bonding out or otherwise being released. But even taking that into account, the number is still quite large.
Procedurally, to get custody of a child when the custodial parent is in jail, the parent who is in the free world must file a motion to modify the existing court order. Judges don’t automatically grant these motions. A partnership with a Liberty child custody lawyer significantly improves your chances of success.
Parents who are behind bars cannot exercise their physical custody over children. Furthermore, since their contact with the outside world is limited, they usually cannot exercise their legal custody rights either.
Therefore, regardless of the criminal offense, judges may approve temporary custodial changes in these situations. That’s especially true if the incarcerated parent will remain behind bars for a substantial period. If Parent A goes to jail for a month and Parent B rushes to the courthouse, the judge might question Parent B’s motives.
Incarceration could also support a permanent custody change. There are several ways that could happen.
Some criminal convictions could result a substantial restriction on a parent’s ability to receive unsupervised contact. Sexual offense convictions are a good example. Other times, the facts in the case may indicate that the home environment is not in the best interests of the children. A drug trafficking conviction, if the trafficking occurred in the home, is a good example.
Incarceration could mean there are other issues in the home. For instance, if Parent A is convicted of DUI, that offense does not directly affect the best interests of the child. But it could indicate that Parent A has a problem with alcohol.
Is joint custody always 50-50?
Physical custody is rarely 50-50. Most children spend most of their time with a residential parent. The other parent usually has alternative parenting time that is not necessarily equal.
How does a judge decide child custody?
A number of factors, including the parent’s wishes as to the parenting plan, determine child custody.
If my ex doesn’t pay child support, can I withhold his/her custody privileges?
No way. This response is tantamount to holding the child for ransom.