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Family law: How legal status affects child custody proceedings

New Jersey immigrants who are currently preparing for divorce may be worried about child custody proceedings. Some people assume that the court will automatically favor parents who are U.S. citizens when it comes to handing down custody rulings. The fact is that immigration legal status has absolutely no bearing on which parent is awarded custody in such cases.

Every state has its own guidelines regarding matters of custody, visitation and child support. Judges consider pertinent factors on a case-by-case basis. Problems can arise, however, if the parents themselves disagree about what is best for their children. The court always has the best interests of the child or children involved in mind when making such decisions.

Even if a parent has been residing in the United States under an undocumented legal status, his or her status is not a determining factor in child custody proceedings. However, if the parent in question is scheduled for deportation, this issue can definitely have an impact on custody-related issues. If the U.S. government has ordered that a parent return to his or her country of origin, it undoubtedly implies significant changes in a child's life, which might influence a judge's decision regarding which parent should be granted custody of the child.

Family law cases that overlap immigration issues can be quite complex. New Jersey parents who have questions or are preparing to enter child custody proceedings may seek guidance and support by requesting consultation with an experienced attorney who has extensive background in both types of law. Having a personal advocate by one's side in court can help alleviate stress and can also ensure protection of parental rights.

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