A child visitation suit isn't easy at the best of times; it becomes even harder if you are doing it from behind bars. Here are four issues that complicate child visitation battles for incarcerated parents:
Limited Contact with Your Attorney
If you are free, then the amount of contact you can have with your attorney is limited only by your attorney's contact hours and your budget for the case. In practice, this means you can contact (call, email, visit) your attorney any time as long as they are reachable. If you are incarcerated, you don't have the privilege of calling your attorney any time you wish. This curtails the number of times you can call your attorney, which can weaken your case.
The Court May Be Wary Of Your Influence on the Kid
Some kinds of crimes will automatically raise the red flag as far as visitations are concerned. For example, you aren't likely to get any visitation rights if you have been convicted of a violent crime, crimes against minors, or a drug offense. The court will assume that the child will not be safe (physically or emotionally) in your presence. In some cases, you may be allowed visitation rights, but the visits will be restricted; for example, the visitation may be supervised or restricted to a short duration.
The Practical Challenges May Make Visitation Difficult
The distance from your place of incarceration to your kid's current abode can determine whether it's practical for you to have visitation rights. Even if you do win the case, it may be impractical for the kid to make all the visits. For example, the kid may have a school function when they should be visiting you; they may live far from your prison or may not have adequate funds to make the visits.
A Lengthy Incarceration May Work Against You
Lastly, you may also have an uphill task if you have been in prison for a long time or have a long sentence ahead of you. If you have been in prison for a long time, then it's likely that you haven't developed a strong bond with your kid. Unfortunately, the strength of the bond between a parent and child is one of the factors courts consider when deciding visitation issues; you are more likely to get visitation rights if you have a strong bond. On the other end of the scale, some courts automatically restrict visitation rights (and may even terminate parental rights) for those serving long sentences.
Even parents who are free need legal help in handling their child visitation issues. Therefore, if you are behind bars, it's even more important to look for an experienced attorney who understands your situation and is willing to go the extra mile in winning your case. Contact a firm like Law Office of Dalia Rasha Kejbou, P.C. to learn more.