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How Incarceration Impacts Child Custody in Florida


Determining child custody and timesharing between parents can be a stressful and emotionally fraught issue in any divorce. This matter can become even more complex if one parent is incarcerated, with questions arising about whether and how much time an imprisoned parent should spend with their child. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa Bay, our office is here to provide you with compassionate legal representation for this and all your other Florida family law needs. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Timesharing with an Incarcerated Parent

In most cases of child custody, the main issues are the determination of physical and legal custody of the child. However, when one parent is incarcerated, the non-incarcerated parent is typically automatically awarded physical and legal custody of all minor children. The major question then becomes whether the incarcerated parent is entitled to visitation rights and timesharing with their child while serving their prison term.

In most cases, Florida courts encourage frequent and continuous contact between a child and their parents. However, a court may suspend timesharing with an incarcerated parent if the judge deems the circumstances of prison visitation too traumatic or detrimental to the child. Like almost all other decisions regarding a minor child in a divorce or family law case, the court will view the decision about whether to award an incarcerated parent visitation rights through the lens of what is in the best interests of the child. If timesharing with an incarcerated parent could endanger the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health, or if the incarcerated parent falls into one of the categories that qualifies for the termination of parental rights, the court may decide to suspend visitation even if the parents still share joint legal custody of their child.

Call or Contact the Office Now

Child custody matters involving an incarcerated parent can be confusing and complex. For legal assistance with this or any other family law matter, contact the Tampa family attorneys today at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III to schedule an initial consultation of your case.


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