Undocumented immigrants in Utah, and elsewhere in the United States, could be forgiven for being unsettled and unsure about the security of their lives at the moment. After all, the changes in immigration law mean that deportation has become more common, and the life you have built for yourself could be at risk. This uncertainty means that already traumatic life events, such as divorce, can seem even more overwhelming. If you are trying to live below the radar and avoid attracting the attention of the authorities, how can you gain custody of your children in a divorce? If your child is a United States citizen, and you are an undocumented immigrant, is it even possible for you to get custody?
In what is sure to be very welcome news, our expert Salt Lake City child custody attorney explains how undocumented immigrant parents can secure custody of their U.S citizen offspring when a marriage breaks down.
If you have been fretting about not being able to stay in contact with your child after a divorce, chances are just reading that sentence made you breathe a sigh of relief. Documented or not, you are still their parent and, as such, have the right to challenge the other parent on matters such as child custody. Under the terms of the United States Constitution, parents have a right to provide care for their children, and your immigration status has no bearing on this. This means that, should your situation escalate to the point where you are deported, you can make the decision regarding whether or not your child stays in the United States. If their other parent – your former spouse – is staying in an area the child is familiar with, you may jointly decide that it is in the child’s best interests to live with them, however, you should be aware of your constitutional right to contribute to this decision.
You should be aware that, although you have a constitutional right to care for your child, and immigration law does not assume that undocumented means unfit, many courts in Utah and beyond have mistakenly ruled against parents in your situation. For this reason, if you are undocumented and facing divorce, you must ensure you choose a Salt Lake City child custody attorney who will do everything in their power to fight for your rights.
Utah family law dictates that any child custody arrangements should be made with the best interests of the child in mind, and an excellent Salt Lake City child custody attorney will ensure that this is upheld while handling your case.
Although the law states that an undocumented parent is not necessarily an unfit one, it has been known for judges to show some bias while deciding on child custody arrangements. To ensure that the best outcome for both you and your child is secured, you need a Salt Lake City attorney who will work tirelessly to achieve this.