What Are The Rights Of An Incarcerated Parent In Orlando?
While it might not seem that prevalent, many incarcerated individuals are also parents. Being arrested does not make someone any less of a parent and yet there are obvious challenges presented to those who physically cannot see and be with their children as often as they would like. How do incarcerated or convicted parents navigate the field of child custody and what are their rights in Florida?
Can an Incarcerated Parent Share Legal Custody?
Yes, an incarcerated parent can share legal custody with the custodial parent. An incarcerated parent can share legal custody with the custodial parent if this agreement is arranged and they can be consulted regarding legal custody decisions. This includes decisions about treatment for health care schooling, religion, and other major life decisions. Logistically speaking, this is often difficult to implement because the jailed parent does not have unlimited access to phone time, or the ability to schedule appointments, or consultations, for his children. Not all parents share legal custody, many parents may lose legal custody in specific situations including if they are deemed to be an unsafe parent due to excessive drug use, mental health issues, or abandonment. Sometimes a parent may relinquish their rights to another parent if the custodial parent has remarried and the stepparent seeks to adopt their stepchild.
What about Child Support?
Courts do not consider incarceration an excuse to not pay child support. This might seem counter-intuitive considering that someone currently in the penal system obviously cannot make an income. Despite this anomaly, child support arrears can and will continue to accrue while a parent is in jail or prison unless the custodial parent no longer seeks financial assistance from the court. Unlike other debts, child support arrears and back owed child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. It will follow the debtor for the rest of their life regardless of their circumstances or ability to obtain gainful income. Mr. Marsee can assist currently incarcerated parents in an attempt to modify child support obligations on a case by case basis.
Schedule a Consultation with Mr. Marsee Today
If you are currently incarcerated, and you are concerned about how you will pay for child support, see your child, or explain the situation to your child, you may benefit from a consultation with an Orlando family law attorney. Steve Marsee is a family law lawyer with more than 30 years of experience dedicated to helping families mediate issues and eliminate the need for aggressive tactics. Your family dynamics may be changing, but it does not make you any less of a willing and worthy parent. Mr. Marsee works with clients from all walks of life and in various situations to provide assistance. He can help you renegotiate the terms of a child support agreement or verify that you are consulted on matters of legal custody. Call today to schedule a consultation.