Whether you are a U.S.-born or new citizen, a foreign national living here on a student visa or working stateside in a professional position, family is a central part of many people's lives. When legal issues arise that affect the family relationship, it is important to consult an experienced family law attorney who can not only address those matters, but also consider any potential immigration implications. For foreign nationals living in the United States and new citizens alike, matters related to marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption must be considered through the lens of a range of related immigration issues.
At Nicolet Lawyers, our family law attorneys have experience representing clients in a wide range of family law matters. Having also helped a number of foreign national clients immigrate to the U.S. by seeking visas and citizenship, we fully understand how immigration issues may also come into play in matters related to divorce, adoption, paternity, custody, and domestic violence.Family Law Issues
Family law generally covers the relationships between spouses and family members. Among other matters, family law issues often arise in the following areas:
- Divorce: Sometimes also called "dissolution," divorce is the legal severing of a marital relationship. The law and steps to obtaining a divorce vary by state. For example, a person seeking divorce in Illinois must provide a ground for the dissolution, such as "irreconcilable differences." Wisconsin, however, is a no-fault divorce state in which no grounds are necessary to obtain a dissolution.
- Custody: A couple that has children and later separates or gets divorced must decide how the kids will be cared for, with whom they will stay, and whether one spouse will pay support for the children to the other spouse.
- Visitation: This issue goes hand-in-hand with custody. If one divorced spouse is granted full custody, the other may seek the right to regular visitation with his or her children.
- Adoption: For spouses who want to grow their families through adoption. The process for adopting a child can be long and complicated, depending on where the family and child are located. A number of legal issues often arise related to a state's efforts to ensure the child's safety and security.
- Domestic Violence: This may not only mean the end of a marriage, but can also impact support and custody issues, and result in criminal charges.
These matters can also cross into the immigration law realm by impacting a person's immigration status, particularly for people carrying family-based immigrant visas. Fiancés, spouses, and dependents often seek nonimmigrant visas or green cards through a family member, but are also at the mercy of family law proceedings. For instance, a person whose marriage dissolves in less than two years may face immigration status changes. Meanwhile, a person convicted on domestic violence charges may be subject to deportation.
If you are considering filing for divorce or are interested in understanding the immigration implications of other family law matters, contact the immigration and family law lawyers at Nicolet Lawyers Immigration and Legal Services. Representing clients in a wide range of immigration and family matters, we are dedicated to protecting our clients' rights while seeking optimal legal solutions. Please contact us online or call 773-562-6884 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.