Visitation and child custody when one parent is in jail

mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

How can I protect my parental rights and ensure visitation and shared custody if I am in jail?


Generally, an incarcerated parent is precluded from maintaining physical custody of a child. You would not be able to delegate physical time-sharing interest to a third party during the time of incarceration.

Although obtaining sole parental responsibility is unlikely, keeping shared parental responsibility may be possible provided you are able to maintain reasonable communication with your former spouse; you may be able to continue to participate in making major life decisions for your child.

You may have the possibility to file a writ or other petition requesting permission to attend the dissolution of marriage proceedings. Alternatively, you may be able to grant another individual a Power of Attorney to appear on your behalf.

You should also contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in your area. Cordell & Cordell has attorneys licensed and located nationwide who would be happy to discuss your case with you.


Alison K. Morriss is a Staff Attorney in the Tampa, Florida office of Cordell & Cordell, where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Morriss is licensed to practice law in the state of Florida. Ms. Morriss received her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, History and Business Administration from Stetson University. She continued her education and received her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law, and her Master of Business Administration from Stetson University School of Business.

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