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Child custody when his father is incarcerated...

My son's father has been incarcerated since my son was a month old (he's 29 months now). We've been in contact since then and have recently decided I was no longer waiting for him and he was going to go his separate way upon release. I've always been nervous about letting him visit his father's side of the family in VA because I just have this paranoia they won't return him and they'll put negative things into his head about me. I make all the major (and minor) decisions for his life, he lives with me, and all he knows is me and my family. He knows his father only as much as a voice over the phone. While I want desperately for them to have a relationship, I want something documented that I have sole custody. I feel I should because it is in my son's best interest to remain with me. He's being raised with values and he's ahead of his time already. He's a very happy and spirited child, he loves to learn, and he loves his Mommy!

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Asked by His_Mommy26 at 11:24 AM on Sep. 20, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 4 (32 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I would at least get something that says you have will be beneficial in the future, and you will have control.

    Answer by momof3josephs at 11:27 AM on Sep. 20, 2010

  • I'm assuming you're not married/divorced from him? My understanding is that he would have to petition the courts for visitation if you refuse. You should contact social services in your area and find out what your rights are, as well as his. I believe you're in a strong position, just make sure you have all your bases covered legally. Much luck to you.

    Answer by Scuba at 11:29 AM on Sep. 20, 2010

  • Depending on the state, custody and visitation are 2 seperate items. Custody determines who makes all the living decisions for the child (doctor care, religious decisions, living arrangements, schooling) while visitation is only about physically seeing the child.

    I have sole physical and residential custody of DD. I make all the decisions based upon her upbringing. However, her dad still gets visitation. If I were to prove him a danger to her, I could revoke (thru the court) his visitation but since he is a good dad, I will not pursue that.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 11:29 AM on Sep. 20, 2010

  • Thank you all! @Jademom07, I saw that last night about those being two separate issues. No we were never married and he's in the state of Virginia. I'm in IL. My son was born here. When he is released I don't know if he'll be able to even leave the state for a while because of the probation thing but I've been trying to find something on out-of-state visitation.

    Comment by His_Mommy26 (original poster) at 11:34 AM on Sep. 20, 2010

  • You do need to have sole custody documented through the courts. Do so for your child's sake.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 11:43 AM on Sep. 20, 2010

  • I am! Most definitely riotgrrl! I'm protecting my son. Knowing him and his overbearing mother, they're going to think I'm being spiteful because we aren't together. I don't give a damn! I'm protecting my son and I wanted nothing more for him to leave my life. If you look through my old journals, there's an email I posted from him cursing me about child support, while he "played house" with another woman and took care of her child. Unbelievable! So yes, I'm nervous but I am definitely going forward with this.

    Comment by His_Mommy26 (original poster) at 11:52 AM on Sep. 20, 2010

  • I am in IL too. You need to get sole custody, which won't be hard to do since your ex is such a role model, LOL.

    As for visitation, "In Illinois, non-custodial parents are entitled to reasonable visitation rights with their children. The law makes this right an "entitlement" which means the non-custodial parent cannot be denied or deprived of visitation without a full court hearing."


    Answer by Jademom07 at 12:06 PM on Sep. 20, 2010

  • I know, right Jade?! LOL! Thanks. I'm gonna look that up. I want him to bond with his child but he will NOT make any changes he wants without my consenting. That's the way I want it. I have no problem cooperating with and talking to him about important decisions about our son but still. I need to do this. Will the courts make me take my son to him? He'll be on probation most likely and won't be able to leave the state.

    Comment by His_Mommy26 (original poster) at 12:12 PM on Sep. 20, 2010

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