You’re an immigrant to America, and your child is American. You gave birth to them here, because your spouse made it possible for you to come and live in the United States. 

Your spouse is a citizen, and you’re a permanent resident. As a result, when your spouse asked for a divorce, you didn’t have any worries about being deported. You knew you’d be able to stay in the country. What does bother you, however, is that you don’t know how you’ll be treated in court. Will an American citizen have a better chance of getting custody of your child? Will you be at a disadvantage just because you’re an immigrant?

You can breathe a sigh of relief because the courts have to be fair and just in custody cases. Your immigration status is more likely to impact custody if you are undocumented and at risk for deportation, but it’s not likely to do so if you’re a permanent resident.

Can you get the primary or sole physical custody of your child? Maybe. You can improve your chances of getting the custody schedule you want by negotiating with your child’s other parent, providing supporting evidence of how you care for your child and evidence that their other parent is unfit if that’s applicable.

The fact that you are not “native-born” to this country shouldn’t make a difference to your custody case because your child’s best interests are the most important issue to the court. If the judge believes that you’re the better parent, then you’re more likely to get more time with your child. 

Don’t let your fears as an immigrant stop you from seeking custody of your child. Speak to an experienced advocate about your situation as soon as possible.