Most of the time, family law and immigration law are two completely separate things. However, occasionally, these two legal worlds combine into a complicated twist of legal processes because one of the parents is an immigrant and the other is a US citizen. If you have a child with an immigrant, especially if the two of you are not married, it can make things really complicated if the two of you separate and there are custody issues at hand. Here is a look at some of the more common issues that can come up if you have a child with an immigrant as a domestic US citizen.
Your immigrant spouse may have rights to take the child out of the country.
Depending on custody arrangements, if you have a child with someone who is not a US citizen, they may have just as much of a right to take your child out of the country as you would to keep your child in the US with you. This is a scary thing to face if your child would be many miles away from you in a country where it may be hard to get across borders to your child if needed. In these situations, it is absolutely critical that you work with a family law attorney who is familiar with immigrant situations.
Boundaries will have to be set up so you can rest assured your child is not taken out of the country without your knowledge or consent. On a similar note, boundaries may have to be created and agreements made about how and when the child will be allowed to travel to the US with you.
Laws in other countries pertaining to child custody could come into play.
Even if your child was born in the US, foreign laws on child custody could come into the picture somewhat if there are issues with the immigrant parent and they return to their home country. Foreign child custody laws can be completely different than in the US, which means your situation could get pretty complicated.
In some situations, outlying laws about your child's living arrangement can affect how custody is determined in your case, even though this would be a rare occurrence. Therefore, it is for the best if you have a good attorney as soon as you have any suspicion that something could come up with your current custody arrangement.
For more information, contact an experienced attorney in your area, such as Carmen DiAmore-Siah Attorney At Law.