If Incarceration Happens After Your Court Order

If incarceration is not mentioned in your court order, a custodial parent is generally under no obligation to bring the children for visits. The inability to pick up your children is viewed as forfeiting your right to physical time with them.

Incarcerated parents may be able to write letters, and telephone the child. The custodial parent or caregiver has the option to say no to any form of contact, unless the court order says otherwise. Get the other parent or caregiver’s approval to write or telephone the children.

If permitted, stay in contact and on good terms with the custodial parent or caregiver while you are incarcerated. That way, you will have his or her contact information once you are released. That will make it easier to spend time with your children. Think about what you will want once you are released, and make a plan for maintaining positive relationships with your children’s caregivers.