With the rapidly changing policies in immigration, there are thousands, if not millions of undocumented immigrants that are facing deportation. With the very real threat of having to leave the United States and their loved ones behind, planning for the future is a MUST.
If an immigrant facing deportation has U.S. born children, a decision will have to be made as to whether or not that child will follow them back to their country or remain in the U.S. with a trusted relative. There are many factors that go into this decision, such as whether or not the child speaks the language, the education options they may have, and how long it may take the immigrant to reestablish and reintegrate into their native country after many years, if not decades away.
Why a power of attorney is insufficient?
If the decision is to leave the child in the United States, then the corresponding legal documents must be in place. It is not uncommon for immigrants to opt for the low-cost option of using limited power of attorney, however, that does not provide adequate protection for their children. It does not address all the problems that may arise with younger children. Schools or hospitals are not required to accept a power of attorney from the child's parents. However, a temporary custody order must be accepted by all parties. If the relative cannot enroll the child in school or take him to the doctor's office, then they have their hands tied. They may have legal problems if the child does not go to school or does not receive adequate medical care. This may lead to the Department of Children and Families opening an investigation into whether or not the child receives adequate care and may attempt to terminate the rights if the parents do not properly care for the child in their absence. In extreme cases, this can lead to the child being placed in foster care.
What is a temporary custody order?
Temporary custody is governed by Florida Statutes §751 et. I know that. The whole purpose of this statute was to deal with situations like this. The statute specifically states that the purpose of this chapter is to "provide for the welfare of a minor child living with extended family members. At present, such family members cannot provide full care to the child in their custody because they lack of a legal document that explains and defines their relationship with the child, and cannot effectively consent to the care of the child by third parties.” Fla. Stat. § 751.01 (2).
What can a relative do with a temporary custody order?
With a temporary custody order, the family member can do the following:
Consent for all necessary and reasonable medical and dental care for the child, including non-urgent surgery and psychiatric care.
Enroll the child in school and grant or deny consent for a child to be evaluated or placed in special school programs, including exceptional education.
Secure copies of the child's records, held by third parties, which are necessary for the care of the child, including, among others:
Do all other things necessary for the care of the child.
How long will this temporary custody order last?
One of the best features is that this temporary order can be canceled at any time. It can last until the child is an adult and no longer needs the temporary custody order, if it can end after a few months. If the situation changes and, for example, the father decides that now is a good time for the child to return to the father's home country, he can ask the court to end the temporary guardianship. The statute states that "at any time, one or both parents of the child may request the court to modify or rescind the order granting temporary custody. The court will terminate the order when it is determined that the father is a suitable parent, or by consent of the parties. The court may modify an order granting temporary custody if the parties give their consent or if the modification is in the best interest of the child. "Fla. Stat. § 751.05(6).
Will the immigrant lose permanent rights over the child?
One of the concerns that an immigrant parent may have is that he will lose all his rights over his son. That is NOT the case with temporary orders. One of the best features of temporary guardianship is that, in fact, it is temporary. If the situation changes, the parent can obtain the consent signed by all parties, or ask the court to rescind or modify the order.
Will this affect the immigrant's ability to be requested by the US child. UU. Later, when I'm 21?
At this time, immigrants can be requested by their US citizen children, once they turn 21. While this may change in the future, it remains a viable option for those immigrant parents who have no other means of legally immigrating to the United States. However, if the relationship with the parents is severed, with something like an order for termination of the rights of the parents or an order of dependency, then the child of 21 years or older cannot request the father. That is why a temporary custody order may be ideal for some parents.
Are immigrants the only people who allow us this?
This is not limited to immigrants. Florida Statutes §751 may be used by parents, children and potential guardians residing in Florida for 6 months or more. Potential guardians must be an extended family member. An extended family member under this law "a relative of the [minor] child in the third grade by blood or marriage to the father, or the stepfather of a minor child if the stepfather is currently married to the child's father and is not a party to a pending dissolution, separate maintenance, domestic violence or other civil or criminal proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction that involves one or both parents of the child as an adverse party. "Fla. Stat. §751.011(2).