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Father of my child going to jail for 2 years

Community Member

My ex, whom I coparent an 8 y o with, has been charged and sentenced to 2 yrs jail time. They appealed and he is out of bail but faces court again in a month.

He only discussed this with me today and I’m still processing it all. What happens to our coparent arrangements. I do not get along with his family at all and have massive anxiety thinking about having to communicate with them.

I will wait and see what happens in a month with the sentencing, but need advice on if I should talk to my 8 y o about this and how and if anyone has been through anything like this.

4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I worked as a prison officer 40 years ago. So I saw many young children visit their fathers in jail.

Children are resilient, they go with the flow. The truth cant hurt them as long as their parents arent demonised by anyone.

Although you dont get aling with your ex inlaws I think it might be a good time to take the mature road and reach out a little for the sake of your child and your ex.

I would talk to your ex and his family maybe a meeting, to inform them that although you dont see eye to eye with them if he is incarcerated it would be a better situation if your child visits him, and you offer your exs inlaws the opportunity to take your child into the jail...eg have your child for the day.

If this happens it could be a good opportunity to get some mutual respect going on. They are your childs grandparents and if they care for their grandchild ok, its a win win all round.

And a day every fortnight or so when you can have a break and go shopping.

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is the right thing to do.


Community Member

You only co-parent with him, any agreement is between you and him only...family can't force you to do anything

Its his choice to commit a criminal offence he can deal with that

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Lyall27,

Welcome to the forums and thanks for your post.

As far as the coparenting arrangements, who makes these decisions?

Here are some recent threads on similar situations that you might want to jump in on

- https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/welcome-and-orientation/struggling-to-cope-knowing-brother-brutally-murdered-ex-girlfriend-

- https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/long-term-support-over-the-journey/sadness-grief-and-regret-over-sons-incarceration#qif_EnHzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A

In the first thread, I've also linked to a number of different organisations and support groups. This might be something that you're interested in. Some of these organisations offer counselling and facilitate family services; so they could provide direction - especially if you wanted your 8 year old to know and be apart of that time (i.e. visiting his father, understanding what's going on).

Hopefully this gives you a place to start.

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Lyall

Welcome to bb and thank you for sharing your story.

I know two families where the father went to jail. My sister-in-law and her husband told their daughter, who was 5 at the time, that her father had to travel overseas to care for his sick mother. There was obviously no visiting him in jail, as my sister in law didn't want any part of that. Their child accepted the story and the truth remains a family secret.

In the second story the parents were divorced and the dad chose not to say anything to his children. Just disappeared. His ex-wife told the children he was a no hoper etc and in jail, which was very damaging to the relationship between the kids and their father.

I think it's important that your ex and you talk about what to say to your child and try to stay on the same page. The key is to minimise harm to your child.

If you think it would benefit your child to see your ex, you might have to consider visiting in prison but I don't think the court would make you do so. I would check this with a lawyer though.

As for your ex's family, you don't have to engage. The key to this decision is the impact not seeing them would have on your child coupled with your ability to cope. You matter too, particularly as you are going to be parenting alone and need to stay well.

Kind thoughts to you