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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My daughter is unmarried and has had a child (now one) with

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My daughter is unmarried and has had a child (now one) with an illegal immigrant. If they go to court, what should they expect the outcome to be for the custody of the child. Both parents work and both are local in Augusta Georgia. Will the mom (legal US citizen; works; lives in her own apartment; no alcohol, no drugs)
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

How old is the child at this time? Beyond one of the parents being an illegal immigrant, are the parties otherwise in any way 'unfit' to care for the child?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Both parents are good parents; neither is unfit. Both are hard working (no drugs or alcohol issues) but just young--24 years old.

Thank you for your follow-up, Mary Ann. Glad to assist you.

Being an illegal immigrant does not affect custody or the custodial split in any way. The legal or illegal status is a federal matter while custody is a state matter. Legality is not related to being a parent, which consequently does not affect how the courts treat such parties in most respects.

What the courts do pay attention to are factors that go directly to fitness or unfitness, specifically factors such as history of abuse or neglect, domestic violence, drug use, alcohol abuse, mental illness, criminal record/history/parole/probation, moral turpitude, or characteristics of the proposed home. The courts may also take into consideration if one parent wants to go out of state with the child, as that tends to be disfavored. Otherwise the primary goal of the courts is to make a determination on what they see as being 'in the best interest' of the child, and that is how they evaluate and analyze this situation.

The courts do tend to disfavor splitting custody when children are very young--typically until children are 3 or so and are mature enough to be relocated, the courts keep the child with one parent and give the other visitation or periodic overnights. Here, if your daughter cared for the child and is deemed to be the home-maker, she would likely be favored, all other factors being the same.

Hope that helps.

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