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Child Custody and Child Support Concerns When a Parent is Incarcerated

 Posted on May 30, 2019 in Child Custody

b2ap3_thumbnail_prison-jail-cells-corridor-correctional-facility.jpgChildren across the United States have a parent who is in jail or prison. When a parent who is unmarried or divorced is convicted of a crime, there may be implications for child custody and child support. Illinois family courts always make child custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. If the parent has been arrested for a domestic violence-related crime, it is possible that they will not be awarded any parental responsibility or parenting time or that their parental responsibility will be reduced.

Parenting Time and Allocation of Parental Responsibility Orders

There are many different things which can happen when a parent of a child is incarcerated. If the parent required to serve time is the parent with the majority of parental responsibility, sometimes called the custodial parent, then the most immediate concern is who the child will live with. If the other parent is involved in the life of the child and is not found to be unfit, they will likely be able to assume the main parenting role. If the child’s other parent is unable to fulfill this role, however, the child may be placed with a relative or guardian. Such a change may require modifying the existing parenting time and responsibility allocation arrangement through the court.

Sometimes, Illinois courts will enlist the help of a guardian ad litem or child representative in child custody cases. These court-appointed attorneys have the power to act as the child’s advocate. They may meet with various family members or potential guardians in order to help determine the course of action that is in the child’s best interests.

Child Support Issues

 An incarcerated parent is still legally accountable for his or her child support obligation. Although a parent in prison may not be able to make child support payments while he or she is incarcerated, the payments will most likely still be due upon the parent’s release. Once the parent is out of jail or prison, he or she may be required to resume child support payments in addition to paying the missed payments plus interest. If you are a parent who is worried about being able to afford your court-order child support, never simply stop paying. You may petition the court for a reduced payment amount, but courts only grant a child support modification under certain circumstances.

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Lawyer

To learn more about the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, child support, or other family law issues, contact a Naperville family law attorney from Pesce Law Group, P.C. Call us at 630-352-2240 to schedule a free consultation.



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