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Phone: 303-731-6227
Toll Free: 866-604-2791

Immigration and custody mediation

Divorce is a particularly precarious situation for any immigrant who is seeking permanent resident status. Most immigrants who enter the country based on marriage are considered conditional residents. They are granted a two year period of lawful residency, and must meet certain conditions prior to becoming a legal resident. A divorce within that two year time period immediately raises some red flags with authorities who become tasked with determining whether the marriage was used for immoral immigration, or whether the union was legitimate.

One of the ways in which immigration authorities determine whether a marriage was out of love, rather than need, is looking at whether a child was born between the parties. If so, it is far less likely that the marriage was entered into solely for the purpose of obtaining citizenship. Custody negotiations in a divorce involving an immigrant are a complex matter with much to take into consideration. It is a far less common occurrence for an immigrant to birth a child, rather than just marry a U.S. citizen, to obtain permanent status. Occasionally, the spouse who is a legal citizen will use the immigration status of the other as a means to leverage custody disputes. These can be intense, stressful discussions which most parties would likely not place themselves into voluntarily.

However, if spouses do find themselves in the situation to argue custodial matters where an immigrant is involved, it is highly recommended to utilize the services of a divorce mediator. This process allows all issues to be discussed in private, in a neutral setting, allowing a fair shot for all involved. In some cases, the spouse who is the permanent U.S. citizen may attempt to use the other party's immigrant status as unfair leverage. Allowing a mediator to facilitate these discussions can prevent that from happening.

Immigration alone is a complex matter with many ins and outs. Combined with divorce and custody, especially within a two year green card status period, it becomes a highly sensitive issue that must be handled with proper care in order to protect immigration status.

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Toll Free: 866-604-2791
Phone: 303-731-6227
Fax: 303-648-5874