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Child custody issues can arise in unexpected situations

In Maryland, child custody issues can often arise at unexpected times and places. While many people associate custody with divorce, there are many types of concerns for families that could lead them to develop a custody plan for their children. One example that has been seen across the country is that of undocumented immigrants fearing detention and deportation.

Volunteer legal clinics have set up shop in churches and community centers to provide advice and guidance on child custody. Many undocumented families have children who were born here and thus are U.S. citizens with the full right to live and stay in the United States. Their parents fear that if they are detained or deported, their children could be placed into foster care.

These clinics are helping undocumented families draw up papers to name friends and family members as the legal guardians of their children in case of detention and deportation. These kinds of alternative custody situations can be important to families in many difficult situations and not only to undocumented immigrants fearing deportation.

Many people are unaware of the range of options for child custody and guardianship or for assuring protection for their children in the case of the parents' death or unavailability. For U.S. citizens, child custody arrangements can be just as urgent as they are for undocumented families. A family law attorney can provide assistance in the case of divorce or separation. Family law attorneys can help to seek custody for a parent, and they could also assist siblings or grandparents seeking custody of a child or help parents to draw up papers for guardianship in case of an urgent event.

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