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  • Writer's pictureStephen Williams

Answers on Avvo – Can my child’s father get custody when just getting out of jail? (VIDEO)

Hey guys, it’s Stephen managing partner with Foxtrot family law. Little bit dressed down today, working from home. We’re going to answer some questions on Avvo. Avvo is like Facebook for lawyers. If you haven’t searched around, looked around, poked around on Avvo regarding any questions you might have regarding any legal issues and you’d be surprised even what issues have legal ramifications. You need to go check out Avvo create yourself an account so you can keep records of what you’ve looked up, what information you’ve saved, what answers, you’ve received on any legal questions that you’ve sort of put out there. And there’s tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lawyers out there on Avvo ready, willing and able to answer your questions generally speaking. Please don’t be confused that any answer from some lawyer six States away without knowing the full context of your situation. He or she is going to be able to give you specific advice to your case, but you will have the opportunity to get some general info and at least when you go consult, maybe with an attorney in your local area, if that’s what you choose to do, you’re going to be armed with that additional information.

So let’s hop over to Avvo and see what’s out there in the world of child custody this morning. Let’s see. Okay, if we go to logged into my page and I’m specifically looking for questions in the world of child custody, we’ve got, can my child’s father get custody when just getting out of jail? I like questions like this because they are yes or no questions and that’s my lawyer brain kicking in…the, the answer’s YES, but obviously it’s not that simple. So I’ll start there and say, okay, well the short answer is yes.

Obviously it’s a lot more complicated than that. I’ve already stated that and I’m just typing it up and I’m not going to keep you guys while I’m typing everything up, but let’s talk a little bit about that. What we’ve got here is some unanswered questions. What was the father in jail for? Was it writing a bad check? Was it not paying traffic fines? There are obviously different issues that could put parent, mother or father in jail. And another question is what’s mom got going on? Has dad gotten out of jail and has he improved himself? Has mom got her own issues?

And one issue we always talk about the question is he is trying to get custody. Well because that’s a broad term and some of our posts on our blog speak to how broad a term custody is and how you really need to get more specific about what kind of custody you’re talking about. And I won’t get too far into those details, but [inaudible] specific to this question. Um, let’s go through the whole thing again. My four year old daughter’s father just got out of jail. Okay, so let’s find out what he was in jail for. And this is an important thing.

Don’t just put the results of the criminal justice system as some sort of dispositive thing in child custody. People get charged with stuff, especially in child custody and co-parenting situations. People get charged with harassment, domestic violence, which yeah. Is scary and serious. Um, but you guys know as well as I do that there’s a lot of stuff filed and sworn out against moms, against dads, against aunts, uncles, whatever, that that’s really not going to pan out. So the important issue is not what somebody is charged with or what somebody is even convicted of. What is important in child custody is what did or didn’t happen. I’m going to say that again to make sure we get this point here. What’s important in child custody is not the process and procedure of the criminal justice system. What’s important is what did or didn’t happen. So to this person who’s asking, um, you know, my four year old’s daughter just got out of jail.

He was trying to get custody. But I feel as if my daughter would be in harm’s way. Is there any way of keeping my daughter from being put into his care? One, one big question is a, is the daughter in the mom’s care right now or is the daughter in somebody else’s care? She really hasn’t gotten specific. So this is what I’m talking about. This is why I’m going to answer this question or I’m going to respond to this question rather and hopefully provide this person with some direction on, on what they need to address and what need to actually meet with an attorney in their area. And I’m not going to get specific, it does specify here, but I’m not gonna say that in this video. Oh, we do need to, this person is going to need to meet with a child custody attorney.

This person is going to need to provide that attorney with specific information about what we’ve sort of talked about today. This person is going to need to hire a competent and effective child custody attorney that they are comfortable with and confident in and this person, at some point, if the child is with this person right now is going to need to be able to show that the current custodian is capable and competent. And if that’s the case then the other side has the burden of proof to show that they’re unfit or that there’s been a material change in circumstances that warrants a change in custody. The father in this case is going to have a really high burden of proof. So as long as mom is retaining counsel, as long as mom is doing what she needs to do on a day to day basis to be effective for her child, no, she’s got a good chance at maintaining custody.

And if the paperwork filed by the other side is frivolous and in no way even comes close to to meeting the burden of proof to change custody. And mom has incurred all these attorneys’ fees, all this time, energy, resources and otherwise, then she can even seek an award of attorney’s fees. That doesn’t mean she’s not going to have to pay her lawyer up front, but in theory, she can get a judgment against the other side that if collected would reimburse her for some or all of her attorneys’ fees. That doesn’t always happen, but that’s an option for the judge in any child custody case. I’m going to type this up for this asker so she’ll get notice that there’s been a response to her question on Avvo, but I hope this discussion has been helpful, uh, for you guys as far as understanding certain things especially, and I’ll get back to the main point of this, getting out of jail, schmetting out of jail. Um, what’s important is what this guy did or didn’t do to get himself in jail and how that affects his ability to either exercise custody or visitation of his daughter. That’s what’s going to be the key. Okay. Well, I’m going to log off of this recording, but I appreciate you guys listening. Hope you learned something and we’ll follow up soon.

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