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My sons father is in prison. Can he get custody of my son when he gets out?

Longmont, CO |

He's been in and out of jail and the halfway house and then went to a rehab for 3 months went back to the halfway house and got sent to prison for using drugs in the halfway house. He has four felonies. He was not there through my whole pregnancy nor the birth of my son. My son will be 5 months old by the time he gets let out. His name is not on the birth certificate and we are not married Would he be able to get custody of my son?

would I also be able to leave state? I had planned on moving before I got pregnant I just need to finish school first but then I had planned on moving

Attorney Answers 4

  1. The court will always award custody to wherever it feels the child will better off. I don't know what your background is like, but his is pretty bad. I don't think the courts will award him custody. However, he might be able to get visitation granted to him.

    On the issue of leaving the state, it depends. If the father gets joint custody then you cannot leave the state without his permission or the permission of the court. If you get full custody then you can do as you please for the most part.

    Hire an attorney. Good luck.

  2. Colorado does not use the term child custody anymore. The father will be able to petition for parenting responsibilities and decision-making upon being released from prison. He has certain rights as the father. However, given his criminal background and history of drug abuse, it is highly unlikely that he would be allowed any significant parenting time with the chid or even unsupervised parenting time with the child. Any parenting time would likely initially be supervised. You would need to get a court order to be able to leave the state with the child and relocate.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.

  3. I see no reason for you to wait until the father is out of prison to seek custody. It is in your interest to file as soon as the child is born. That is your best shot at ensuring sole decision making.

    You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

  4. So long as there is no action pending, you CAN move out of state. If you want to move, I would do so as soon as possible. I do not think that you can secret your son away from the father, though. You should tell him how to get ahold of you (and ultimately find his and your son). If an action is filed, the father could get an order preventing you from moving and once a court order enters regarding parental responsibility for your son, you would not be able to move your son (if it significantly changes the geographic ties with father) without a court order.

    It is unlikely given the father's history that he would receive unsupervised parenting time with your son -- unless and until he cleans up his act and is able to prove that he is clean and sober. However, it IS in the best interests of your son for you to encourage a relationship to the extent that is possible. The father does have rights to be a part of his son's life, but protecting the best interests of the child will be first and foremost.

    I wish you the best.

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