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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 99978
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My husband and I have been married years. I was living in another country and he

Customer Question

Hi, My husband and I have been married for 6 years. I was living in another country and he filed for green card for me and we have a daughter.
Once I arrived in Florida, he did not want to rent an apartment for my daughter and I because he had double life. I came back to Haiti with my daughter and told him that we will be back when he rent a place for us to live.
He wants to take my daughter from me. What to do? What the US law said about that?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. I am sorry to hear about this. Please tell me: 1) How old is your daughter?2) How long did you live in Florida before going back to Haiti?3) Has he filed any custody suit for the child in Florida, or, in Haiti? This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My daughter is 4 years old
I got my green card last August 2015
I do not know if he file any custody
I had a tourist visa. We got married in Fort Lauderdale and I went there very often. I gave birth to my daughter in Fort Lauderdale.
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Thank you. Did the daughter live in Florida 6 months or longer? How long has the daughter lived in in Haiti since you've gone back? Example: "She lived 7 months in Florida, and has lived a year in Haiti since we've returned." This is important. Please be specific.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My daughter lived one year with my mom in Pompano Beach because of an epidemic in Haiti. When I got the green card in August, I went to Fort Lauderdale and my husband told me that he does not have an apartment and he is living with friend. My mom moved to another state and we don't have a place to sleep. Then I decided to go back to Haiti with my daughter. I discovered also he has a double life; living in his new apartment with another lady.
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
So, your daughter never even traveled to USA with you? She continued to stay in Haiti. Correct?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We traveled to Haiti with me in January. Yes, we are planning to go to Florida tomorrow.
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Sorry, you are not being clear. You said that "we" traveled to Haiti in January. So that means you and your daughter... from USA? Or she never left Haiti? Again, please answer in this format: "She lived 7 months in Florida, and has lived 1 year in Haiti since we've returned." OR "She never left Haiti." This is important. Please be specific.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She lived in Florida 1 year until January 2016 and since then she is with me in Haiti.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
and I keep her dad informed about her, the school she attends, I make them speak over the phone
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I found out that he has two sons with the other lady. As I did not want to be homeless and live other the bridge, I went back to Haiti with my daughter.
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Thank you. I appreciate your patience. Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the parent can initiate a custody dispute where the child has last lived for 6 or more months. So if she has lived in FL for 1+ year, he can file in Florida for custody arguably. The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree to this. However, even if he gets a judgment, it may be hard to enforce it in Haiti, because the Haitian court may not recognize the US decree and demand that he files anew in Haiti. If he does not file at all in Florida by around June 2016 (or whoever long it has been since she has been back in Haiti for 6+ months), then Florida loses custody and he must file in Haiti. if so, Haitian law applies towards custody, giving you an advantage. Ergo, it may be better to stall until past June 2016. After that, a Florida court is likely to dismiss the case on motion of a party for lack of jurisdiction and refer it to Haiti, giving you an advantage. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) 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 with a positive rating.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can I file the custody at the Florida Court and stay in USA with my daughter?
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Sure. I mean, you yourself can file for custody in FL up until the point where the child has lived in Haiti for 6+ months, just like him. Provided that your greencard is valid and so is hers, and it is not a 2 year conditional card, you can continue staying in USA with her. Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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