IIRC, JW's and G4's children are in state custody? So, are they allowed to visit with them per phone from jail and/or are they allowed to visit them in jail? I'm just curious. Thoughts please?
Let's say we have a dad who has joint custody of his child, he has custodial rights to make important decisions for his child, but then he goes to jail.
At that point he is still the child's legal parent but he loses his custodial rights.
(some guardianship rights, important decision making rights, may still be in effect)
Now the mother has full custody and can make all the child raising decisions herself, including how she wants to handle jail visitation and phone communication.
Dad cannot force mom to bring the child to jail for visits or to take his phone calls. If the dad is cut off like that he would need a court order to force the mom to give him some communication with his child, at least through phone/Skype/email.
I think it's likely that GW4 and Jake have some form of phone communication with their child but it would be up to the guardians/Child Services to decide about in-person jail visits.
If the child's guardian wants to take them for jail visits they probably could (per jail rules) but I doubt that Jake and George could "make" them go.
**********Parental Rights of a Father in Jail**********
Parents incarcerated in a county, state or federal prison lose many of the rights that free parents take for granted. Prisoners who are parents don’t automatically lose their right to be a parent, but they often lose the means to continue to be an engaged, included and effective parent. There are many ways the mother of a prisoner’s child can legally block the prisoner from any kind of relationship with his child.
Fathers who go to jail remain fathers, but only technically, according to the Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents, CCIP
. However, parenting requires contact and inclusion in the child’s life and this is difficult for a prisoner to achieve or maintain while behind bars. When mothers choose not to include the prisoner in the child’s life, there is little the father can do about it.
Lack of Jailhouse Visits
A prisoner has no ability to force the mother of his minor child younger than the age of 18 to bring the child to visits at the county jail or prison, the CCIP
notes. Although prisoner might try to file suit to force such visits, such a suit will require hiring of an attorney. There are no provisions for free legal representation from behind bars for these kinds of cases.
Refused Phone Calls
Most prisoners are allowed to make collect calls and paid-for calls depending on their monetary resources in prison. Fathers have the right to call their home but that does not mean the mother will accept a collect call, or answer her phone when the prisoner calls on his dime. The mother has the right to refuse to allow the prisoner to talk to his child on the phone.
Prisoners can write all the letters they can afford to write and send home, but there’s no guarantee that mothers will deliver letters to the child. Mothers can also easily intercept letters--both ways. Minors have none of the usual rights to secure postal services that adults have.
No Right to Information
Mothers of the children of prisoners have no legal obligation to keep in contact with the prisoner in any fashion once the cell doors close. Prisoners can do little to force a mother to interact with him or include him in parenting decisions unless he files a lawsuit.
Losing All Rights
If a prisoner still has legal joint custody of the child, some guardianship rights may still be in effect. Mothers may have to seek the father’s permission for the child to undergo life-threatening elective surgery, for example. If this becomes a problem, mothers can file a motion to have the incarcerated father stripped of his custody and decision-making rights altogether. According to the CCIP
, most jurisdictions rule on these motions in favor of the mother, especially since the father often has no means to hire a private attorney and defend his rights in court.
Family and Corrections Network: A Father's Story
Parental Rights of a Father in Jail | Livestrong.com