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Immigrant families seek help with custody issues

Child custody issues can weigh heavily on the minds of many New Jersey families. Among the parents dealing with thorny issues of custody and child care in unexpected situations are undocumented immigrants concerned about their status. Legal clinics are helping these families to prepare custody paperwork in the event that the parents face detention or deportation.

Undocumented families in the United States have been impacted by increased enforcement of immigration laws. In particular, these parents are concerned about the futures of their children. Many undocumented parents have U.S. citizen children who have lived their entire lives here and have the right to remain in the country.

For these families, concerns that their children could go into the foster system and become lost to them have become urgent in many cases. These legal clinics have offered undocumented parents the opportunity to name family members or friends as the legal guardians of their children in case they become unavailable due to detention or deportation. Many undocumented parents have, in the past, not filed this kind of paperwork because they lived relatively stable lives in the United States over the years. More than that, families have feared the costs that are involved.

Concerns about child custody issues in the case of an unexpected event are, of course, not limited to undocumented families. Many parents are worried about their children's future if they suddenly become unavailable. A family law attorney can help families to deal with these issues. From the more common events of divorce to siblings and grandparents seeking custody after a sudden death or incarceration of the child's parents, family law attorneys can help to devise a solution that is in the child's best interests.

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