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If I am not a citizen, but my husband is, do I have rights to my children if we divorce ?

Chelmsford, MA |
Attorney answers 9




I am sorry to hear about this situation. Even if you are not a citizen, the Probate and Family Court can grant you rights with regard to your children and the marital estate. If you are an abused spouse, you may also petition to get a permanent resident status through the United States Government. You should consult with a qualified family law attorney to provide you further guidance. Good luck.

Advice provided is of a general nature to provide guidance. Divorce law is state specific. One should always check the laws in their home jurisdiction. An attorney-client relationship is not intended or established through provided responses.


Yes, but I would hire an attorney who is familiar with both divorce law and immigration law to make sure that all of your rights are protected. Good luck!


You would definitely have rights. You should consult with a local attorney regarding your situation, many offer free consultations.

Melissa Levine
Levine and Piro, Attorneys at Law
Maynard, MA

Melissa Levine is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by Attorney Levine answering your question. It is advisable to consult with an attorney about your personal legal concerns.


I agree with the comments made by my faily law colleagues. You should contact an attorney who is familiary with family law issues within your State (MA) and also aware of Federal Immigration Law - including what options, if necessary, you have under immigration law. Good luck.

Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by CC Abbott does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state of Federal law.


You have absolue rights to your children. I suggest an immigration/family law attorney who can help you with all the issues that will arise (out of country travel, etc.).

This is not legal advice until I am retained and have reviewed all facts about your situation.


Immigration status is not a factor for a judge to consider when granting custody. If the parent is trying to hide from immigration because they are not properly in the country, then their behavior of hiding could have an adverse effect on the child and this could affect custody. An example would be not putting the child in school to hide from immigration. However, immigration status alone is not a factor. In fact, it may be illegal for a judge to consider citizenship as a factor in custody.

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I agree with my colleagues, so long as you are in the United States legally. If your children are US citizens and your visa has expired for some reason, or you do not have permanent residence status, should you be deported, that would be a reason you would lose custody. Otherwise, there is no immagration based reason for you to lose custody.

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