Undocumented parents could lose custody of their children

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Saturday, December 23, 2017.

In Illinois and throughout the U.S., undocumented families are always at risk of being separated. With the Trump administration ramping up immigration enforcement actions, the millions of children in the U.S. with undocumented parents are at an increased risk. Children who are separated from undocumented parents may end up in foster care while their parents try to regain custody after being forced to leave the country.

One such case occurred in 2005 after a Guatemalan woman was found to be living illegally in Nebraska. She was detained by federal immigration agents for about month and was separated for her two young children. She thought that her children would be with her on her flight back to Guatemala, but she was told as she boarded that her children would be staying behind.

When some parents are detained, their children are detained with them. However, those who were born in the U.S. or who are U.S. citizens may be put into foster care instead. While a legally documented guardianship plan can prevent this from happening, parents may not have a suitable person to choose. If the children go into foster care, child protection systems can enforce certain requirements that make it near impossible for parents to regain custody. Some requirements, for example, could include a home study, psychological testing and having a steady job.

Child custody disputes can be difficult for everyone involved, including the children. Even if the parents are U.S. citizens, a parent could still lose custody of his or her children if the court deems he or she is not able to provide proper care for them. A family law attorney could provide evidence and strong arguments that it is in the best interest of the child to keep the child with a particular parent.

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