Can an illegal mother leave the US and return to her homeland with her 1 year old child who is a US citizen without the father”s permission?

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Can an illegal mother leave the US and return to her homeland with her 1 year old child who is a US citizen without the father”s permission?

Father is legal but not a citizen. He paid a woman to marry him to become legal (a sham marriage). He is trying to keep mother in US by not giving her access to money, etc. She has been living in US for the past 12 years and wishes to return to her own country (in Europe). She is worried that if she tries to leave the child may be taken from her. She would like to stay in US but without green card cannot work and father is under no obligation to provide child support money.

Asked on February 3, 2012 under Immigration Law, Florida

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Does she have legal custody of the child?  This is really more of a family law issue than an immigration issue.  If she has legal custody of the child, she may be able to take the child with her if she departs the US; however, it is best to consult with a family law attorney in this situation to understand the issues involved and the rights of each parent.  If she needs money for child support, why did she not request that as part of the divorce?


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