When California parents who have primary custody of their child become incarcerated, it can be difficult to make decisions about what will happen to the child. In most cases, the court will become involved and will be making decisions that are in the best interests of the child.
When two parents are seeking primary custody, the court usually takes a number of factors into consideration. These factors can include the parent's wishes, the child's wishes if they are over a certain age and the quality of life the child would have with either parent. Additionally, the court may also look at the parents' habits, including excessive drinking or drug use. The parents' ability to provide the essentials, like shelter, food, medical car and clothing are also major factors.
If the custodial parent goes to jail, the same factors and considerations will be used to determine where the child should go. However, the actual child custody process may be different, as child protective services may place the child at least temporarily with the noncustodial parent or another family member. However, people who want to keep custody of the child while the parent is incarcerated will have to prove that staying with them is in the best interests of the child.
A parent who has been arrested and could potentially be facing a jail sentence, should contact a family law attorney to determine what options are available when it comes to custody. In some cases, the noncustodial parent may take custody of the kids for a short period of time. If the noncustodial parent cannot provide proper care for the children, an attorney may assist with finding family members, relatives or family friends who could potentially care for the child until the parent is released.