Restoring Your Parental Rights After Prison

Restoring Your Parental Rights After PrisonPeople who served time in prison can struggle upon their release into society. They must acclimate themselves to normal life, with the new limitations that come from having a criminal record. Re-establishing their roles as parents can be one of the most difficult adjustments. Parents who are former convicts may need to take legal action to be able to see their children on a regular basis. Even after that is accomplished, the parents must work to build or repair their relationships with their children.

Parental Rights

Incarceration does not automatically strip a parent of his or her rights to see and make decisions about the children. A party seeking to limit or terminate a parent’s rights must prove that the parent is unfit and that the decision is in the best interest of a child. A court may decide based on:

  • If the crime was violent in nature;
  • Whether the parent has a history of neglecting or endangering the children; and
  • Who would likely assume the absent parent's responsibilities.

Upon a parent’s release from prison, a court may restrict how often the parent may see the children and whether those visits need to be supervised. The court may grant the parent more rights as he or she proves to be reliable and responsible.

Separated Parents

A parent’s marital status will largely affect his or her parental rights after leaving prison. If the parents are divorced or were never married, they must settle issues such as:

  • Parenting time;
  • Decision making; and
  • Child support.

A parent who is a former convict is unlikely to have primary parenting time with the children. Instead, he or she may need to fight to see them on a regular basis and have a say in making decisions about them. Regardless of the allocated parental responsibilities, the parent will be required to pay child support. He or she may have a lesser burden because former convicts are often limited in their employment opportunities and income.

Child Relationship

Some parents in prison have limited interaction with their children. The other parent may be keeping the children away, or the incarcerated parent may not want the children to see him or her in the prison environment. After the parent leaves prison, the children may hesitate to embrace him or her. If the child was young at the start of the prison sentence, he or she may not remember the parent. Older children may feel that the incarcerated parent abandoned them. The parent will need to do a majority of the work to develop a relationship with his or her children.

Life After Prison

Even after being convicted of a crime, you have rights as a parent. A Kane County family law attorney at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can help you assert your parental rights. To schedule a free consultation, call 331-588-6611.


Recent Blog Posts



Free Initial Consultations

phone 630-920-8855
address15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521
phone 331-588-6611
address21 North 4th Street, Geneva, IL 60134
Our firm handles family law and personal injury matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Geneva, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Western Springs, LaGrange, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

© 2020 Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio 15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521 630-920-8855

OVC Lawyer Marketing

Share Your Experience