IMPORTANT! Always follow the conditions of any Criminal Protective Orders, Personal Conduct No-Contact Orders, or Supervision Conditions against you. For more information, go to PG 737.


Family support is the biggest predictor of success in reentry.[2316] Yet family law can be confusing and few family law attorneys represent people in reentry for free. This Chapter aims to provide you with information and resources on how to navigate legal issues related to your family and children, so you will be better equipped upon release.

This Chapter will explain basic family law issues you may face during your reentry. These issues are:

    Reunification with children.
    Stay-away orders from family members, children and loved ones.
    Creating and ending partnerships and marriages.
    Court-ordered debts related to a family law case (including “child support” and “spousal support”).

This Chapter will guide you through different legal questions that come up and different options you have as a parent, grandparent, spouse, or partner. It will also explain what your rights are as a parent or grandparent with a criminal record trying to reunify with your child or grandchild and/or gain greater legal rights.

We hope to provide you with the information you need to establish a positive relationship with your family and your community.

QUESTIONS? If you have questions after reading this Chapter, we recommend that you contact a lawyer, a case manager, or a trusted friend in the community to help you work through this material. You can also contact Root & Rebound and we will try to provide further assistance or referrals (call our Reentry Legal Hotline any Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM PST at phone number 510-279-4662, write to us at Root & Rebound, 1730 Franklin St., Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612, or email us at [email protected]). You may also want to contact a local legal aid organization for help with your case. You can find a list of legal aid organizations across California on PG. 1127 at the back of guide.

  1. 2316

    Sandra Villalobos Agudelo, Vera Institute, The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth’s Behavior and School Performance (2013), (“Research shows that incarcerated adults who have strong relationships with loved ones do better in prison and pose less of a risk to public safety when they return to the community”).