Parenting While Incarcerated in Illinois

 Posted on May 15, 2015 in Child Custody

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, parental rights,Parenting while incarcerated may seem like an impossibility. When a parent goes to prison, finding an appropriate custody situation for his or her child is a priority. In some cases, the child's other parent receives full custody of the child. In others, another living arrangement must be determined.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense and you are facing jail time, speak with an experienced family attorney about how your potential incarceration can affect your child and his or her current custody agreement. He or she can answer any questions you have about the possibility of spending time in jail and help you and your family develop a plan for custody and visitation if the need arises.

Pregnancy and Childbirth in Prison

Illinois is one of only four states to prohibit the shackling of female inmates during pregnancy and childbirth. Babies born to mothers who have access to Illinois' prison nursery programs may stay with their mothers until they reach 18 months of age. Otherwise, the infant may be given to his or her father or, if the father is not present or unfit to be a parent, with another relative. The child's mother may name a relative a short-term guardian for her child. This individual is given custody of the child for up to a year while the mother completes her jail term.

Custody and Visitation While a Parent is in Jail

If a child's parents were married when he or she was born, his or her father is considered to be the legal father. If not, the father must establish his paternity to gain the legal rights to seek custody and support for his child. Unmarried fathers must seek a custody arrangement for their child while the mother is in jail; married fathers automatically receive custody of their children. If the non-incarcerated parent files for divorce while his or her spouse is incarcerated, he or she receives custody of the couple's child.

If a couple has a child support agreement in place, it remains in place when one parent goes to jail. If he or she cannot make these payments while he or she is incarcerated, he or she must seek a modification to the support order.

All visitors under 17 years old must be accompanied by an approved adult when visiting a parent or relative in jail. Inmates create their approved visitors lists and if a prospective visitor is not listed, he or she may not visit the individual in jail. Approved visitors must show two valid forms of identification to be permitted to visit an inmate. Approved identification forms include driver's licenses, passports, and state-issued ID cards.

Family Attorneys in Kane County

Facing jail time as a parent can be a scary thought. Educate yourself about the possibilities of a jail sentence and how it can affect your family by speaking with one of our firm's knowledgeable Kane County family attorneys. Contact Goostree Law Group for your free legal consultation with our firm.

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