Family & Children
The FAMILY & CHILDREN CHAPTER will give you an overview of the issues that parents and caregivers experience when trying to reconnect with and care for their children, as well as legal issues that arise during incarceration related to children, spouses/partners, and other family-related issues. This Chapter will teach you how to establish or re-establish your rights, responsibilities, and relationship with your child(ren), and how to navigate the family court systems so that you can best handle any issues related to custody, guardianship, juvenile dependency/CPS cases, visitation, child support, spousal support, paternity, and ending marriages or domestic partnerships.
DISCLAIMER – YOUR RESPONSIBILITY WHEN USING THIS GUIDE: When putting together the Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide, we did our best to give you useful and accurate information. However, the laws change frequently and are subject to differing interpretations. We do not always have the resources to make changes to this informational material every time the law changes. If you use information from the Roadmap to Reentry legal guide, it is your responsibility to make sure that the law has not changed and applies to your particular situation. If you are incarcerated, most of the materials you need should be available in your institution’s law library. The Roadmap to Reentry guide is not intending to give legal advice, but rather legal information. No attorney-client relationship is created by using any information in this guide. You should always consult your own attorney if you need legal advice specific to your situation.
- Key terms and concepts that you will frequently come across when you are navigating family law issues.How to locate and reconnect with your child; how your incarceration, parole/probation, and any court orders (such as protective orders) could affect your rights and responsibilities as a parent.What the three different courts are that handle family law cases in California and how to best navigate each court system.What the rights and responsibilities of a parent or caregiver are to care for a child and to make decisions for him/her.What your rights are to see and spend time with your child.What happens when a judge appoints a legal guardian to care for a child, and what your rights and responsibilities are as a guardian or parent.Your options as a parent if CPS or a judge removes your child from your home, and how to become a guardian for a child in a dependency court case.How to get custody or visitation if your case involves your child’s other parent.A basic overview of juvenile delinquency court and how your child’s juvenile delinquency court case could affect your ability to reconnect with your child in reentry.Becoming an adoptive parent, reconnecting with a child who you gave birth to while incarcerated, establishing paternity/parentage, and other family issues in prison, jail, or reentry.How to end a marriage or domestic partnership while incarcerated or after your release, and what to do if your spouse wants a divorce while you are incarcerated.Child support payments and other child support issues, including what to do if you owe past, overdue child support payments when you return to the community from prison or jail.Domestic Violence-related restraining orders, options for getting a restraining order, and what to do if you have a restraining order against you.