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Frequently Asked Questions About Felonies and Child Custody

April 20, 2018

Some experts note that one out of every 15 adults in the United States will spend time behind bars due to a felony conviction. It's a slightly stunning total when you look at it in that light, and it shows how common incarceration really is.

It also brings up questions about child custody rights. With the sheer amount of adults serving time, there are thousands and thousands who are also parents. What rights do they retain? Can they still have a relationship with their kids?

There are a few questions and answers that can help you explore the subject a bit more.

Does the type of felony matter?

It can. Courts may try to keep the parent involved after crimes that do not pose a risk to the child. For instance, violent felonies may mean custody rights are eliminated, while tax fraud could mean the parent keeps his or her rights.

Can felon parents get visitation rights?

Yes, they often can. If the crime means the parent cannot have custody, visitation may still be possible. In some cases, this is supervised visitation. This can keep both parents in the picture while still ensuring the child's safety.

Do convicted parents still pay financial costs?

Yes, they do. The obligation to pay child support still stands after a felony conviction. The same goes for medical expenses. This is still true even if that parent loses his or her custody and visitation rights after the case.

The impact of a conviction

A felony conviction can change your life. This goes beyond the prison sentence alone and can impact your family life. Make sure you know what legal defense options you have.

Source: LiveSTRONG, "Felony Conviction & Child Custody Rights," Jon Williams, accessed April 20, 2018