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How Do I Establish Visitation With My Child After Being in Jail?

Published: Jan 06, 2021 in Child Custody
Child waving through glass image

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

Consequences to criminal legal trouble include upsetting child custody and visitation rights and obligations. An incarcerated parent who shares parenting or visitation can’t fulfill those commitments. Once you leave jail, you may wonder how to re-establish visitation with a child.

Exactly how visitation or shared parenting begins after incarceration depends on several factors. Previous court orders, any modification of them, and the charges that landed you in jail may pertain. For the best chance to re-establish your visitation and parental rights, you need the experienced child custody attorneys at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC.

Call (412) 471-5100 or email for an appointment to discuss establishing child visitation after release from jail.

Your Visitation Rights

Pennsylvania law presumes that children should have a relationship with both parents if there is no danger in doing so. Maintaining a relationship with children is so important that the right to see your child isn’t linked to paying support.

Sometimes parents can agree on child custody and visitation outside the family law courts. Informal agreements are not advisable. Child support and custody orders help parties understand their rights and responsibilities. It would be best if you had a skilled child custody lawyer for these issues.

Furthermore, incarceration cannot end your parental rights. But while in jail, you must try to maintain a relationship with your children. Failing to do so might strip you of your parental rights.

If you maintained your parental rights while serving time, even if modified in some manner, and now need to re-establish your visitation or shared custody, Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, can help. We will review your case and determine the change in circumstances required to modify any visitation and custody orders. After that, we can petition the court and argue that it is in your child’s best interests to re-establish the parental relationship.

Change in Circumstances and Best Interests of the Child

Modifying custody and visitation requires you to show a change in circumstances, and that modification is in the child’s best interest. Being released from jail qualifies as a substantial change in circumstances.

Other factors the court might consider in determining changes in circumstances and best interests of the child after your release include:

  • Parents’ relationship with one another
  • Physical and mental health of parents
  • Financial circumstances of parents
  • Living environment of parents

Understand that your criminal record could be a factor, especially if it were a violent crime or involved children. Even a felony DUI might impact your visitation. The other parent might argue your child could be at risk if you drink and drive. Also important is where you live, which can be an issue for someone recently released from jail.

Although the court will consider what charges comprised your conviction, you could still receive supervised visitation. The critical thing to remember is that a skilled child custody lawyer is essential in these circumstances. Don’t try to go it alone.

Contact Us To Discuss Visitation After Being Released From Jail

You made a mistake but paid your debt to society. Now that you are out of jail establishing visitation with your children is the top priority. Let us help. We’ve assisted clients just like you to increase parenting time after their incarceration. You have a right to bond with your children, even if you’ve been to jail. Don’t let your former legal trouble stop you from parenting; your child needs both parents.

Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your child’s visitation needs. Call (412) 471-5100 or email for an appointment.