Charlotte, NC asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for North Carolina

Q: My child's father reports to federal prison at the end of this month to begin a 7 year prison sentence. My child is 4

The father has never seen him outside of the 2 times we were in court for child support order and his contempt for not paying it as ordered. He has never wanted go be involved in his life even though I made attempts to engage him several times for my childs sake even though he stays in another state 3.5 hours away. He has not contributed consistently financially at all. I plan to file for sole legal and physical custody very soon. I just need to know my chances of getting this custody? Do I have to have him served in jail? What does him being in jail mean for the child suppport order? He has substantial income that he lied about during our child suppport hearings that he later admitted to in the pre sentencing investigation packet that he sent to me and others. I also strongly believe he will still be accumulating income while he is in jail as he is part owner of two companies-one with his girlfriend and the other with a close friend who will continue to run them. Please advise.

1 Lawyer Answer
Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: If he is smart he will structure any income he receives while in jail in such a way that you likely won't see a dime in child support. Since he will already be in jail, there likely won't be diddly squat you or the Court can do except let arrears accrue. So you have two choices: 1) getting sole custody and keeping him potentially on the hook for child support is a cake walk and a no brainer - you'd have to be a scratchy crack addict to lose that case. 2) petition the court to terminate his parental rights. You will lose child support but you won't ever have to deal with him again either. Both options have pros and cons, so you will want to talk to a local family law attorney who can review your situation in more detail and lay out all your options for you. Best of luck.

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