Skip to main content

If the father has joint physical custody of the child and the mother goes to prison, can he file for sole custody

Columbus, GA |

The father was given physical joint custody while the mother was on bond. The father has found a better job in Montana & would like to move. The mother has been in prison for over a year. The father wants to change the custody papers to where he can move the child out of state. It is in the best interest of the child I believe.

Attorney Answers 3


If the father wants to move out of state, and the mother is in prison, those sound like sufficient reasons to justify a modification of custody petition on the basis of "substantial change in circumstances." Obviously, this is just my general opinion, based on the facts provided.

I advise that you contact a family law attorney in your area who can better advise.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees


You should consult with an experienced custody attorney. If you have true joint physical custody, and the mother is in prison, you may be able to move immediately by seeking an emergency petition.

I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees


This requires an experienced lawyer. Ultimatelty it is up to a court but certainly it is possible that a court reviewing the facts would find reason to change custody. Details, such as what the mother is in jail for, and the fitness of the father, and language of the current order, all matter.

If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you. Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Child custody topics

Recommended articles about Child custody

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics