The Impacts of Incarceration on Child Custody
It is in the best interest of the child that the court awards custody of the child to the parent whom it considers as best. And if there is incarceration of a parent, it hugely impacts the rights of custody. In this case, the other parent becomes the custodian of the child during the jail sentence.
Case of a Minor Child:
If the child is under the age of 18, the custody will depend on the factor if there are arrangements already been made. The court can participate in these matters to determine what is appropriate for the child, however, the non-custodial parent can be awarded custody even in the absence of other arrangements. The court can also terminate the right to child custody of incarcerated parent based on the conviction or jail term. The court can also give custody to another family member or other parent- if alive or is morally fit.
Shared Responsibility for the Child:
When behind bars, an incarcerated parent cannot have child custody. But even in this situation, the parent has shared responsibility in case the court does not terminate the rights of an incarcerated parent. There may be issues that require consent from the imprisoned parent while other issues may not be in control of the parent. However, the release of the parent can also affect such scenario. The custodial parent can appeal the court to terminate the right of an incarcerated parent due to the jail sentence.
Addressing the Important Questions:
When a parent is imprisoned, there are several questions that need to be answered with the help of a legal counsel. Such as who will get the custody if the custodial parent is imprisoned; when the parent is no longer imprisoned, what will happen to the temporary custody? In case of an ex-spouse is imprisoned, the visitation rights can be taken away till the person is free.
In case the custodial parent does not have any arrangements, the court may give the non-custodial parent the temporary custody. There are additional factors that mostly depend on the conviction and charges.
Charges Affecting Child Custody:
When a parent goes to jail, the judge will determine, on the basis of charges, what to do next. If the charges are of more serious nature such as assault, murder, sexual assault, or mayhem, the person can completely lose the right of child custody. While other charges can result in losing visitation rights, and the result of future issues, for instance, returning the child to the custodial parent.
The more serious charges mean that the parent will not return to society for a long time. Crimes such as murder, intentional harm or white-collar crimes can make the person completely removed from the matter. Based on the crime and sentence, the court will determine if the parent is not a good fit for child custody and can pick someone else to grant custody of the child on a temporary basis.
Legal Consultation When a Parent Is Incarcerated:
A parent who faces long jail term may need a family Law attorney to take care of the custody arrangements. The incarcerated parent may need to hand over the power to the other parent if the court believes it is in the best interest of the child.