Immigrants fearing deportation and their families and friends in Reno may want to be aware of a new trend in child custody preparations. Though lacking documentation to legally stay in the United States themselves, many non-citizens are loathe to return to their home countries with their children. They cite ongoing violence and gangs as a constant threat. Another goal is to provide their children with better education and work opportunities than is available elsewhere.
Children born in the United States are granted citizenship status, but this does not mean their undocumented parents can remain in the country. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can remove these parents if they are caught, and the situation can become worse if there are also criminal charges. However, some parents are taking steps to protect their children and assets by transferring child custody and signing over control of their assets.
In one mother's case, a sister-in-law agreed to serve as the custodial parent for the youngest daughter. The girl can therefore remain in school in the U.S. Her adult daughter has been given control of assets, such as the family home. A nun who is familiar with many of these cases said that the biggest hurdles to this type of planning are the cost and knowing trusted people capable of caring for their children and assets.
The children of immigrant families can face severe disruption in their routines, nutrition and health, regardless of their parents' financial status. Preparing documents that transfer child custody rights to another trusted person may be in the best interests of the child when compared with other alternatives. However, there can be significant risks in entering into such arrangements. Families considering this form of protection may want to discuss their concerns with an attorney.