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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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this is an immigration question. I am in a court divorce

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this is an immigration question.
I am in a court divorce battle with my filipina wife. She has temporary custody of our daugther. I get unsupervised visitation every weekend. Daughter is filipina citizen but I adopted her and she is now a usa citizen.
final divorce proceedings have not taken place. However there is a flight risk. Wife says she will leave usa with daughter if wife does not get permanent green card. (I have turned her in to immigration for marriage fraud) (Wife is applying for green card by herself claiming cruelty) I have proof obtained from my computer that she has maintained/supported a boyfriend in the philippines since 2009, and stayed with him during her 2 month 2012 vacation in the philippines. We were married August 1, 2010.

Just received another text that tells me that she is not staying here if she does not get green card and she will take our usa citizen daughter with her to philippines.

I understand this is a felony and how do I stop her?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry to hear of your situation. Taking a child outside of jurisdiction while there is ongoing custody litigation can indeed be a criminal act under Cal. Penal Code §278.5.

The way to go about doing so is twofold:

INJUNCTION IN CIVIL COURT
Someone in your situation may wish to file for an injunction in the court that is handling your divorce matter, showing the Court her text and all other evidence of her intent to leave.

Upon granting an injunction of not allowing her to leave, the Court may ask her to (1) surrender her passports, (2) put a bond down for the child with the court, and/or (3) any other means that the Court feels is reasonable to ensure that the child would not be taken outside jurisdiction.

Once this court orders is in place, someone in your situation may wish to send a copy to:

(a) the local airport, with a letter of explanation; and
(b) U.S. Customs and Border Protection at their Los Angeles, CA File Office to ensure that they know of the order, and will flag her down if she attempts to go abroad through any exit point:

1 World Trade Center
Suite 705
Long Beach , CA 90831 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

CRIMINAL
If she is giving you information that her relocation is imminent, then a criminal complaint may be filed and the state may charge her. Even filing the criminal complaint itself is a way to have her reconsider.

If the defendant has taken the child outside of the U.S,, this is an aggravating factor for the court to
consider during the sentencing hearing. Cal. Penal Code Ann. § 278.6(a)(4).

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


what about after the final divorce decree which I know will be granted. Hopefully I will get full custody but I have read too many times on the net how mother gets child no matter how bad she is. (wish this bias would stop)


 


one of the problems I am having is I have kept saying we need to seize passport of the child. it is forgotten in court. so how do I stop her after the final divorce decree? These laws you quote are from California, I wonder if Arkansas has same laws.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
D,

Thank you for your follow up.

If you get custody, then if the Court is convinced that the mother is a flight risk, the precautions of (1) turning in the passports, (2) a bond, (3) supervised visitation, and/or (4) other such steps can be included in the divorce decree if one asks for them and the Court agrees. This should ensure that she cannot flee with the child.

but I have read too many times on the net how mother gets child no matter how bad she is. (wish this bias would stop)

If you feel that the judge is biased, please let me know and we can discuss this.

I am sorry to have given you California statutes! The answer still stands as is, however, I am amending it to reflect Arkansas:

INJUNCTION IN CIVIL COURT
Someone in your situation may wish to file for an injunction in the court that is handling your divorce matter, showing the Court her text and all other evidence of her intent to leave.

Upon granting an injunction of not allowing her to leave, the Court may ask her to (1) surrender her passports, (2) put a bond down for the child with the court, and/or (3) any other means that the Court feels is reasonable to ensure that the child would not be taken outside jurisdiction.

Once this court orders is in place, someone in your situation may wish to send a copy to:

(a) the local airport, with a letter of explanation; and
(b) U.S. Customs and Border Protection at their Los Angeles, CA File Offices to ensure that they know of the order, and will flag her down if she attempts to go abroad through any exit point:

Port Of Entry-Little Rock-North Little Rock XXXXX
Air Cargo Building
Little Rock, AR 72202 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

Rogers Airport
#5 Hammerschmidt Drive
Rogers, AR 72756 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

CRIMINAL
If she is giving you information that her relocation is imminent, then a criminal complaint may be filed and the state may charge her. Even filing the criminal complaint itself is a way to have her reconsider. In Arkansas, this is a criminal matter under Ark Code Ann. §5-26-502(a)(1)(A)

If she manages to take the child outside of the state, it is a Class D felony. If she simply interferes with custody in-state, it is a Class A misdemeanor.


My apologies for the miscommunication.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


thank you for your reply. I understand what you say, getting this done is another matter. I seem to be caught up in bureacracy. In the end these possible injuctions are just pieces of paper. Meaningless to anyone not wanting to comply. thank you again, any other suggestions, if not I am ok with your answers.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

thank you for your reply.

You are most welcome.

In the end these possible injuctions are just pieces of paper. Meaningless to anyone not wanting to comply.

Well, yes and no. Yes in that she can try to violate the injunction. But no, in that if you give the proper authorities a copy of the injunction and WARN them that she may do so, they should flag her if she attempts to leave. Ergo, this is exactly why I stated that this should be done with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and any airport in your vicinity. Then, if she tries to board, the authorities should disallow her based on the injunction. You see, the Court does not immediately share an order with the federal authorities. But, if one alerts them to it, they will attempt to enforce it if she tries to leave the country.

I hope this clarifies.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 88710
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your generosity.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 



I thought I would share with you a comment by a State Department layperson when I contacted them last month. My attorney here gave me their number and said I should seek help from them. However after talking with them I was disturbed at lack of help they would provide. And they would only provide help if wife left with child going to the Philippines. They said in part they could not stop her from leaving and gave example of crossing the border into Mexico. When going to Mexico you are not stopped in usa then proceed to Mexico, you are already out of usa when stopped at Mexican border entry port. State Department said it was too late to stop them. Does the State Department really know what the Customs and Border Protection is capable of doing? Perhaps this is a case of the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

This is indeed a case of right/left hand. In the end, it really depends on the people you contact, and how some department officials feel about the issue, and whether or not the actual boots on the ground are proactive.

Is this 100% proof? No. However, CBP should be contacted - this should at least be attempted. Remember, the United States Department of State is not the same agency as CBP.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I thank you again for your answer. I am concerned about "whether or not the actual boots on the ground are proactive." It lends itself well to the thought of do we really want to be bothered with one woman and her child.


I will contact the CBP


I thank you again.


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Again, my pleasure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


need more help please. I am interested in knowing the airport addresses of Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, LAX, San Francisco. That should cover every exit point should my wife try to leave with my daughter.


I have the court order she has been served with do you have form letter that you use when you send info to CBP and the airports. I am assuming that you have sent these letters before.


 


Also I also include


copies of their passports


what else should I include.


 


anything else you can think to include in this letter to the CBP and airports?


How long will CBP and airports keep her in database?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend.

All that needs to be included is the court order and their names. Copies of passports are helpful but not necessary.

CBP will keep a "flag" for the time that the restraining order is good for.

To get CBP contact numbers for every airport they are in, please see here, and here.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


thank you for your reply.


 


Once this order is lifted. Can she still leave with Nicole. I have been told that it is a felony to remove a US citizen such as Nicole from the USA. Is this true and how do I block this from happening.


 


Also when I talked to USCIS last December they told me they do not deport US citizens that also hold foreign national passports such as Nicole. How do you think USCIS will look at this given the evidence of marriage fraud that I have against Nicole's mother. Let Nicole's mother stay or deport her for breaking the law? How does this work?


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome.

Once this order is lifted. Can she still leave with Nicole. I have been told that it is a felony to remove a US citizen such as Nicole from the USA. Is this true and how do I block this from happening.

Unless there is a restraining order or some other type of court order preventing her, then yes, she may, if she has custody at the time.

Now, the Court may of course order her never to leave the country with the child, but, you have to request this from the Judge and have this approved.

No, it is not a felony if she is her mother and she has custody at the time, but, it is a criminal matter if it ignores a standing order or is done to avoid a pending order that would restrict her from doing so.

Also when I talked to USCIS last December they told me they do not deport US citizens that also hold foreign national passports such as Nicole. How do you think USCIS will look at this given the evidence of marriage fraud that I have against Nicole's mother. Let Nicole's mother stay or deport her for breaking the law? How does this work?

This is hard to say. However, I will state that USCIS looks at the validity of marriage itself more so than the custody determination for its decision.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I knew there would be some bad news in your answer. This flight risk is bothersome for me. I consider it real even if my attorney here feels that she isn't going anywhere. Plus what USCIS told me about reading the file I gave them. The agent said sometimes they never look at the files, they just ask them about their life in USA. That was worrisome what the agent told me. I assume you have dealt with marriage fraud and USCIS, how do in insure that USCIS will really pay attention to 2inch binder I will give them in addition to the 2inch binder they already possess which contain evidence of a 3 year relationship with her filipina boyfriend and coming here to just get a green card?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Friend,

Well in essence it is true - there is never any 100% guarantee, I am afraid.

As for what happens with USCIS, it is really on a case by case basis but no, I must stress that validity of marriage and her accusations are the primary matters discussed.

There is no way to know for sure what the USCIS agent will pay attention to aside from writing a letter to add to her file and sending into USCIS and the agent should at least read it over...
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 88710
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I thank you. this is complicated especially since it involves my daughter. My wife has sought the services of an immigration agency and is claiming cruelty to get her green card. I have heard this is standard complaint by immigrants to get a green card.


 


thank you for your continued services. glad you work all night like I do. This is when I find time to take care of legal questions in between the calls to do xrays. it's a slow night tonight.


thank you again for your services.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
No problem - my pleasure. Best of luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I am currently addressing letters to cbp at the two initial addresses you gave me; the one in long beach and little rock. I am looking up the other addresses on the cbp web site. I notice there are field office addresses and port addresses. Is it correct to send all of my letters to the field offices? please advise.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


since you aren't online I have passed this question on to one of your competitors.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


the question is back to you. will let you answer it.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I am sorry, but I was offline when you replied. This is at your discretion, it may be enough just to send it to the central address, although you may send it to the field office if you'd like - it does not hurt.

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