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Deportation risks may prompt custody arrangements

Kentucky parents who are undocumented immigrants and who fear that they risk being deported may be interested in learning that adults in similar situations are using custody arrangements to keep their kids safe should the worst come to pass. For families whose children were born in the U.S. and thus have a right to be here even though their parents don't, preparing custody transfer paperwork is emerging as a potentially viable means of long-term protection.

Many parents who risk deportation would prefer for their children to remain in the U.S. because their home countries are unsafe or lack employment opportunities. These families have taken to naming legal guardians in advance just in case they get deported or detained by immigration officials.

Some parents are even preparing property transfer documents and instructions so that their relatives who reside in the U.S. legally can take care of their assets. Unfortunately, many parents who might want to take advantage of such legal arrangements don't have trustworthy friends who aren't also in immigration limbo. Some also lack the funds to pay for legal aid. In some states, people have turned to charitable organizations and advocacy groups for help.

The immigration debate may not be the first thing people think of when it comes to child custody, but such cases highlight the importance of preparing for the worst. Even parents who don't face deportation may benefit from creating child custody arrangements in the event that they die or become incapacitated. Attorneys with this type of family law experience might help parents plan ahead for their children's future well-being.

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