Can I have full custody of my son if his father in jail? 16 Answers as of June 11, 2013

Can I have full custody of my son if his father in jail? I get child support, we are not together and he has no job.

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Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
Yes, you may file documents requesting full custody of your child based on the fact that his father is in jail.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/27/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Yes, you can if he's in jail for a long enough period. Speak to a qualified custody attorney Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/27/2011
Naziri Hanassab LLP
Naziri Hanassab LLP | Vahid Naziri
That is good possibility but would need to know more facts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/27/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
You don't indicate whether you are married or whether there is any existing order affecting "custody", so it is difficult to completely answer your question. Since Colo no longer uses the term "custody" to describe where a child lives or which parent has what responsibility, the reality is that so long as your husband is in jail you already have, in fact, "full custody" no matter what it means to you or anyone else. If there is a current court order in effect, it may be necessary or appropriate to modify that order based on his confinement - especially if that is expected to be for a long time.

If there is no current custody order and you are not married, you really don't need to do anything at least until he is released. If you are married, when you file for divorce the Court will allocate parental responsibilities (including where the child lives, what time the other parent can spend with the child, and decision-making authority) based on the existing facts to determine what is in the child's best interest.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/27/2011
Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
If your son's father is in jail for an extended period, most courts would likely be willing to award custody to you. If he is in for only a short time or has not yet been convicted or sentenced, his incarcerated status and the charges against him may still be a large factor in terms of his custody and visitation rights. Most courts will not compel a parent to bring kids to see an incarcerated parent.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/27/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    You should have no problem getting full custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Yes. if dad is in jail, you can request sole physical and legal custody orders and the court should grant such request.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    That would be likely. You still have to come to a settlement agreement with the other parent or get a court Order to establish said Custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Yes, but you are going to have establish cause in court for such. It should be somewhat easier if he is in fact in jail. We offer free consultations. We are Arnold & Wadsworth and provide clients service in the area of family law. We have offices in Salt Lake City and Ogden Utah.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Courts make custody determinations based on what it believes to be in the child's best interests. Certainly, if one parent is incarcerated, the parent that is not seems likely to be granted primary physical custody.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    It is a possibility. There are many factors involved in a custody determination. If you wish to discuss further you can contact our office.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If there is no lawsuit for divorce, custody is up in the air. If you want full custody and you are married, file a divorce case requesting custody. If you want full custody and you were never married to the father of the child, unless there has been a paternity lawsuit, or unless the father signed a Declaration of Paternity at the child's birth, or unless the father is named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate, you would be the presumptive custodial parent of the child, and the father would have to seek and be awarded custody rights as the child's father in order to get any custody rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Your term, "full custody" doesn't strike any legal chords in my mind. You probably are already the custodial parent. If you had joint legal custody by agreement, then you would be the "primary physical custodian." If you mean terminate the father's parental rights because he is locked up, then I'd say, "maybe." The courts generally don't want to reduce the number of a child's parents unless there is risk of harm to the child. However, a complete abandonment, can also be a basis to terminate parental rights, which could leave you with what I suspect you mean by "full custody." Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/11/2013
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