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  1. #1

    Question Who Takes Custody when the Custodial Parent is Locked Up

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Ohio

    My ex-husband currently has custody of my 4-year old son. He is now locked up in a "residential facility" and will not be released until later this year. My ex and my son live with my ex's mother who has since taken on responsibility for my child. I would like to know if with my ex locked up, if I am able to take my son from the home where he has been to be with me, his mother.
    My son has been in the same home and in a stable environment for almost 2 years now and while I am aware that taking him from that could be bad, I have filed for joint parenting and we are in court proceedings for it. But again, with my ex locked up, those proceedings have halted.
    I have a home for my son, a bed for him to sleep in, food for him to eat and am able to get him to where he needs to be when he needs to be there. The current agreement we had in place was for me to get my child one day a week from 2pm to 8pm. My ex's mother was letting me get him at 11am so we could have more time together. Now, she is saying that she will stick to the current agreement.
    Again, I would just like to know what rights I have (since my ex has full custody) and if there is anything more I can do at this time.
    Thank You.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Who Takes Custody when the Custodial Parent is Locked Up

    When exactly would your ex be released?

    It matters.

    And is there a reason you have such a restricted visitation schedule?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3

    Default Re: Who Takes Custody when the Custodial Parent is Locked Up

    He will be released some time in August I believe.
    I have a restricted visitation because I left. I left my son with my ex and have been back since August of 2010. I have been working and doing my best so I can see my son more. I was seeing him more and then my ex stopped me from seeing him for no reason at all...
    I just want to see my son more.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Who Takes Custody when the Custodial Parent is Locked Up

    It's highly unlikely you'll get custody at this point. August is mere months away, and the court will be reluctant to move your son from everything he knows in order to go and live with you - when Dad is going to be home relatively soon....and even less likely since you only see the child for 6 hours once a week. Do you really think that would be in his best interest?

    Please clarify the events of the breakup - because you don't lose regular visitation - or even custody - just for leaving the other parent. You basically abandoned everything, didn't see your son for a year and have only been back in his life since August of last year? Is that correct?

    (This isn't about judgment, by the way - but your answer might change my response)
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5

    Default Re: Who Takes Custody when the Custodial Parent is Locked Up

    The breakup went like this: My father passed away, I cheated. We never talked. He went out and drank 7 nights a week (has 3 dui's on his record) while I worked a 40+ hours a week job providing the money for our family and benefits. I sort of lost it and didn't know what to do. I left and left our son with him when I did. This was in Oct 2008. I came home Jan 2009 and lived with my sister. I got two jobs, was able to have access to a car and started seeing my ex husband and my son again. Things were going well until I moved out of my sisters & into my own place in May. The area wasn't too bad but after only 1 month of visitation, my ex-husband violated the visitation agreement we had in place and stopped letting me see or even be able to get my son. This was a big fight with us and since I now had no job and no car, it was a hard argument to win.
    This caused me to move out of state once more for almost 7 months. I called every single day to talk to my son. I had been convinced by someone I thought was close to me (a man of course) that everything would be alright, that I would get custody and we would be getting his inheritance and blah blah blah. It was my own fault for believing this of course. While I was out of state, my ex procured the final divorce and since I wasn't around to contest it, won full custody.
    I came home August 2010 and have been working steadily. Got myself a car in November. Have a stable residence with my mother and have been seeing my son on a regular basis for quite some time now. My ex and I were on ok terms at first, he and I would talk about our son and try to come to an agreement but after I mentioned to him that him wanting to have "relations" with me was him cheating on his current girlfriend was like what I did to him in our marriage, he stopped letting me see our son, claiming that he was having "mommy" issues. This I didn't believe. This current revelation also stopped him from letting my mother see him every Monday like she had been doing for the entire time I was gone. When I came home, my ex was mad that my mom would use her visistation time to let me see my child. My son was fine and the moment he first saw me, smiled and put his arm around my neck and asked me: "Mom, do you feel better now? No more sick bug?" After that: I filed for joint parenting as I then only saw my child 2 times in 2 months. My ex refused to show up for court and didn't respond when the court send him notifications.
    Once in court, the magistrate was all too happy to let me see my son as long as my ex was in control of the situation since he has an attorney and I cannot afford one. Now, with my ex locked up, we have court again in 11 days. I would like to ask the magistrate for more visitation seeing as how my son likes spending time with me and would be comfortable doing so. He and I have discussed it and he knows that he can do it but is not sure why he only gets to see me once a week.
    I know my child. No matter how long I've been away from him, he still tells me he loves me and puts his arm around me and hugs me and we play and giggle and he does very well when we're together. I just want to know if my ex's mother has the legal rights to keep my son from me like she is doing, no matter when my ex gets out of prision and if there is anything else I can do. You know?
    Thank you for you're help by the way.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who Takes Custody when the Custodial Parent is Locked Up

    Please don't discuss these issues with your child - that's really not good for him. He's four. He simply won't comprehend what you're telling him.

    There is a small chance that you will get temporary custody - but even if you did it would likely revert back to Dad immediately upon his release. Both Dad and Grandma would probably fight that, too - and believe it or not, Grandma would have standing. There'd be a great chance that the court would feel it too disruptive to take kiddo from his home only to return 3 months later. Other than that, stick to what you're doing. Follow through on requesting more parenting time, and be a solid part of your son's life.

    You don't have custody of your son and Grandma has the right to stick to the current visitation plan. Of course that might change in 11 days, but until then you're really at her mercy.

    Good luck Mom - and please feel free to update the thread. I'd be interested in the outcome of this one.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7

    Default Re: Who Takes Custody when the Custodial Parent is Locked Up

    So, my ex's attorney filed a continuance for our court date and I didn't find out until the day I went to the court house. I now know that my ex will have to file as a Tier 2 Sex Offender when he comes home in August. I don't discuss anything with my son but my ex's mom who has been taking care of my son, says this:
    She tells my son he is Not Allowed to spend the night at my house and he is only allowed to see me the 6 hours a week we've discussed in court.
    She enrolled him in day care but did not put me on the pick up list or the emergency contact list and when I asked her why, she told me that I have no custodial rights to my child even though I am his mother.
    I do not understand any of that. Wouldn't I be contacted if my ex didn't have custody and my ex's mom did?
    I need to get an attorney and am going to a legal aide thing here in my city on the 18th. Any advice til then?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who Takes Custody when the Custodial Parent is Locked Up

    As long as your ex didn't abuse your son, his sex offender status will not prevent him from having custody.

    She is wrong about one thing though - unless there is a court order SPECIFICALLY prohibiting you, there is nothing preventing you from even stopping by your son's day-care. It doesn't matter whether you have any custody - you are still his legal parent.

    Have you petitioned for more parenting time?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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