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Father of child is in prison. Never married, can I get sole custody without a lawyer?

Fort Worth, TX |
Filed under: Sole custody

Father of child is in prison. Never married, can I get sole custody without a lawyer? what steps do i take? Can I terminate his rights? He hasn't been in her life except for maybe one month of her life and I will be getting married in October and he will still be in prison, and has been most of his adult life, and jail and juvie before then. Thanks for all you help?

Attorney Answers 1


In many states, you can go to the county courthouse and pick up documents to file on your own. Without knowing all of the facts of your case, I can't be as helpful as I'd like to. But, I can tell you that (at least in Oregon), it's fairly easy to get the paperwork done without an attorney, especially if the other party is in prison.

If you have never filed for custody of the child, you would want to just file the paperwork to get custody. You'll have to get the father served in prison, but that shouldn't be too hard. Prisons are usually happy to help complete service for people in situations like yours.

As for terminating his rights, that is a much bigger issue and you will need the help of an attorney for that one, if you can do it at all. Usually it involves getting someone else to adopt the child or child welfare to step in. A lot of the time it's not something that can be done even with an attorney's help.

Good luck!

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